It's Illegal Not To Include Copy Protection In DVD Players?

from the but-why? dept

Thanks to John for passing on this story that Samsung is facing a lawsuit from a number of movie studios, though over what is still a bit up in the air. Samsung believes it’s about a DVD player they stopped making and shipping over a year ago. The movie studios are upset that people could use the DVD player to avoid DVD copy protection, but it’s not entirely clear (1) why that’s illegal and (2) why the studios are suddenly interested in this so long after the product has been removed from the market.

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Comments on “It's Illegal Not To Include Copy Protection In DVD Players?”

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giafly says:


“Why would such an unremarkable player be at the center of a lawsuit? As it turns out, the DVD-HD841 player allows users to circumvent both region encoding and HDCP. It has been known for some time that the major studios are unhappy with the number of DVD players that allow users to circumvent region encoding practices, either by allowing too many “resets” of a unit’s geographic location, or allowing users to turn off compliance altogether.” – arstechnica

Robbie Mundan says:

DVD Players in Asia

The DVD players in Asia/Australia and probably elsewhere are starting to *anything*. Google Shinco for example from China. The cost is about USD$60 and they play anthing you download from the web.

DiVX is great. Great quality and the size that lets you burn 4 four feature movies on a standard DVD. Nice!

China has made a big industry copying content from Hollywood. I think we are in this cat and mouse game for a long time.

ehrichweiss says:

Re: DVD Players in Asia

Maybe we need to clarify which DIVX is which. Afterall, about 10 years ago there was the collarboration between Circuit City and some attorneys(who else) that tried to allow you to “buy” a movie and then pay on a nearly per-play basis as if renting it.

The other Divx is an encoding standard created a few years ago that, as is mentioned, allows you to store high quality video in a compressed format that allows 4 times more video per disk.

Chris Hanson (user link) says:

Breach of contract/license

My (lay) understanding of all this is that in order to use the patents and other specifications necessary to create a device that can play DVDs (including the “DVD” logo and trademark) you need to obtain a license. In order to do that, you must agree to adhere to the copy-protection and region-coding rules used by the technology.

That would make this a breach of contract, not a violation of law.

Anonymous Coward says:

No Subject Given

Your terminology is muddying the discussion. If a lawsuit — a civil legal process — is occurring, then there is no “illegal” element (i.e., a criminal legal issue). While there may be a violation of the DMCA, this would need to be addressed in a separate criminal process.

Possibly the studios feel that the DVD player in question represents such a threat that they must stomp on it quickly with a civil case before finally killing it with a criminal case. However, I wonder why they want to spend the money on a private suit against a product that is already supposed to be off the market. This seems like anything but a clear-cut DMCA case.

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