Court Says Tool For Backing Up DVDs Is Illegal

from the it's-a-tool... dept

Well, there had been a string of smart court rulings concerning intellectual property lately, but they can’t all go your way. EFF has announced that the judge on the case has ruled against 321 Studios, saying that their software, which allows users to make backup copies of their home DVDs, is illegal and they must stop selling it within seven days. While the court admitted that there are legitimate uses of the software, they say that doesn’t matter since the software violates the DMCA anti-circumvention provision. It’s expected that 321 will appeal, so this is hardly over.

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Comments on “Court Says Tool For Backing Up DVDs Is Illegal”

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aFreeMan says:

p2p, novel medium of exchange

The only way to put a stop to the RIAA and MPAA collections scam is to hit their members in the pocket book.
Stop buying music of artists who sign on with member labels.
With todays technology no artist should be beholding to a record lable. With a web site, some decent software, a paypal account and using the p2p networks as an advertizing medium artists should be able to make a great living off their works freeing themselves from the predatory recording industry.
p2p networks are great mediums of exchange for several reasons. They’re wide spread and fullly integratable with nealy a 100 milllion users. That folks is a fabulous market for any artist. Putting snippits of their works in the network with links to their web sites, artists can thrive without the labels.
Now just spread the word and give artists hope.

Anonymous Coward says:

Interesting Move by the Judge

Personally, I think it was an interesting move by the judge. He has lined this case to go all the way to the Supreme Court. By saying it violated the DMCA, but that there were legitimate uses, he has basically set up a lot of other companies to be sued, even though their products were legal before the DMCA came into effect.

For instance, I have a “video stabilizer”. While it allows me to record fresh copies of old tapes, it also strips off the Macrovision code. While this was legal before the DMCA it is now illegal.

Finally there is a case that can go the the Supreme Court that pits the rights of the purchasers of a product versus the producers.

Oliver Wendell Jones (profile) says:

Re: Interesting Move by the Judge

“For instance, I have a “video stabilizer”. While it allows me to record fresh copies of old tapes, it also strips off the Macrovision code. While this was legal before the DMCA it is now illegal.”

Actually, it’s not illegal due to the DMCA.

The first letter in DMCA is D for Digital, and the restrictions within the DMCA apply specifically to Digital information. Since the Macrovision signal is embedded in an analog signal (composite video out), the DMCA does not specifically apply to video stabilizer units.

a friend says:


Isn’t the United States of America suposed to be by the people for the people as Abraham Lincoln said here in The Gettysburg Address? “…and that government of the people, by the people, for the people…”. if this is truly what the United States is then the majority of the people should decides. this is people not just upperclass americans not jsut white CEO’s of large corporations but but every person in the united states should decide upon this matter. we are the people. the goverment is BY us For us and should stay with US the people of the United States of America!

tt says:

video stabilizers

Actually, video stabilizers are considered illegal according to one judge under the DMCA. Macrovision corporation sued SIMA and SIMA has been put out of business. You can no longer buy these SIMA stabilizers and they have all been pulled from store shelves. The DMCA is being used as a sledgehammer to outlaw ANY KIND of techonological innovation. You will need one of these to record once everything is blocked. Since manufacturers have to design their recorders by law to comply with the restrictions, you are basically buying a recorder that CAN’T record. I know that theft is wrong, but isn’t there something wrong with this picture?

aa says:

proper balance

The inability for all the circumvention technologies out there to be all stopped is proof that there is something wrong with having by law to cripple recorders that basically can’t record. Those inputs on them units are actually a scam. Why bother putting them in then? But I wouldn’t imagine anyone then selling any.

tt says:

whats the point?

What’s the point of making these things then? I believe that the DMCA was basically used to overturn the SONY Betamax case. Get this law passed, then encrypt everything, the recording units have to be made to comply, then everyone loses. There would have never been a DVD recorder in my house without that little SIMA magic box. A Macrovision free DVD player doesn’t take care of the CGMS-A problem. Record never is almost ALWAYS used despite there being 2 other ways it can be set.

tt says:

More harebrained schemes

There are more harebraned schemes being added to blu-ray. They are closing the analog hole, and it will be illegal just to make a blu-ray player with component outputs because there isn’t enough protection on that output. (thanks to the DMCA with it’s overly broad definition of circumvention) It will be all encrypted HDMI, and I have found some devices that only had HDMI output. Cinavia and Screenpass are also being added to blu-ray so that the copies don’t work. One gives you an error after 20 minutes due to the presence of a watermark in the audio not seeing AACS protection on that new disc, and Screenpass garbles the order of the chapters so that they don’t play normally in order due to lack of AACS encryption in the copy.

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