Decade-Long Courtroom Battle Between Movie Studios And High-End DVD Jukebox Manufacturer Ends In A Draw

from the Right-of-First-Sale-still-being-carved-into-uselessness dept

A decade's worth of legal battling is over and it hardly looks like a vindication for innovation or the Right of First Sale. Kaleidescape, a company marketing high-end DVD and Blu-Ray "jukeboxes" has reached an undisclosed settlement with the body representing Hollywood, DVD CCA (Copy Control Association).

Yesterday, the Superior Court of California, Santa Clara, noted a "voluntary dismissal" of the case. Kaleidescape CEO Cheena Srinivasan tells CE Pro that both parties have agreed not to comment at this time.

Court notices indicate that Kaleidescape requested a dismissal of the case on May 12 and that the next day a joint notice of settlement was filed. The court took three days to review the parties' stipulations and determined on May 19th, "Case complete."

The case ends a long and complicated test of the rights of both content creators and the studios who market that content … as well as the consumers who "own" copies of the content and the manufacturers who unlock it.
This may have concluded the "test" but there are no proven results. Since 2004, the movie industry has pushed to make Kaleidescape's offerings illegal. The fear of piracy has informed DVD CCA's every move. When the industry is concerned that a $4-10,000 item will be used mostly for infringement, it's drowning in its own paranoia. A big box store desktop computer with a $50 piece of software will do the same thing -- and that's if the would-pirates even bother to pay for the DVD-ripping program in the first place.

The industry wants to sell plastic discs but it doesn't want consumers to have much choice in how they use them after they've paid for them. Kaleidescape's jukeboxes would rip lossless DVDs and Blu-Rays directly to the internal drive and allow instant playback (including skipping the long stream of anti-piracy PSAs the studios still seem to feel obliged to insert into every paid-for movie) of the consumer's library.

Of course, it also bricked this latest offering by requiring the user to insert Blu-Ray discs before allowing "instant" playback (earlier in the legal battle, DVDs were also included in the requirement), thus removing a great deal of the convenience someone just paid over $4,000 for.

One of the sticking points for the CCA over the years was the anti-piracy DRM that comes standard on every DVD and Blu-Ray, but even Kaleidescape's lack of circumvention somehow posed a problem.
That group argues that the license that governs CSS – required of all manufacturers who make DVD players – expressly prohibits the manufacturers from allowing users to copy DVDs, even if they own those DVDs.

Kaleidescape has always maintained that the DVD CCA contracts express no such prohibitions. In any case, Kaleidescape servers make bit-for-bit copies so that the digital rights management (DRM) provisions of CSS are preserved.
Even with the DRM intact, the studios' presumption that Kaleidescape was manufacturing piracy boxes dragged the company into court and kept it there for ten years. What has just transpired doesn't really sound like a victory for the company. There may be more stipulations added to the legal framework surrounding Kaleidescape's jukeboxes that make them even more useless than they are currently. Or maybe future development is predicted on the company entering into contracts with the studios to push their lackluster digital offerings.

But whatever it is, it's hardly seems like a victory for the Right of First Sale. If the CCA's arguments are still being entertained, even owning a physical copy makes you (and Kaleidascape) subject to restrictive license agreements -- meaning it's highly unlikely bit-for-bit copying will ever be approved for those willing to shell out what Kaleidescape is asking for its equipment.

Filed Under: copyright, dvd jukebox, kaleidescape
Companies: dvd cca, kaleidescape


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  • identicon
    BoundByLife, 21 May 2014 @ 8:36pm

    Between this and Areo, I'm very concerned about this concept that complying with rules and regulations in order to serve the customer better must be infringing.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 21 May 2014 @ 8:54pm

    Aren't they in the business of selling things to consumers?
    Perhaps it might be best to remind them that everything they have done is designed to punish consumers and make it more difficult for them. And when you make things harder it is human nature to look for an easier way...

    They create more piracy than they stop.
    They spend more money "fighting" pirates and punish consumers and end up creating more copyright scofflaws.

    Imagine if they put all of this cash drive and innovation into giving consumers what they wanted, rather than chasing pirates they keep creating.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Whatever, 21 May 2014 @ 11:07pm

      Re:

      Imagine if they put all of this cash drive and innovation into giving consumers what they wanted, rather than chasing pirates they keep creating.

      They do exactly that. What do you think everyone wants to see, everyone pirates, everyone climbs all over each other to get? It's hollywood content, it's mainstream American TV content, and HBO content. They create exactly what the market wants.

      The only issue? The market wants it for free, doesn't want to do anything that would contribute to paying for it, and so on. Adblockers, commercial removed tv shows, and all that stuff in the end is as much the problem as anything else.

      At some point, there won't be enough money in it and the whole thing will grind to a near halt. See the porn industry for more info on what is likely to happen.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 21 May 2014 @ 11:30pm

        Re: Re:

        Yes, at some point there won't be any more money, except for the record profits that the movie industry has been reporting for the last several years...

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        PaulT (profile), 22 May 2014 @ 12:17am

        Re: Re:

        "The market wants it for free"

        No wonder you're so wrong all the time,. You base everything on this easily and long disproven lie. Address reality, please.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 22 May 2014 @ 12:28am

        Re: Re:

        The market wants release windows gone.

        We like our content when we want it and in easy to view formats. Price is important but there are many price points that are more attractive than free with a million (dodgy) ads.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Ruben, 22 May 2014 @ 9:10am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Case in point, Louis CK. He released that special on his website, DRM free, for 5 bucks a pop. He did really well with that.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 22 May 2014 @ 12:32am

        Re: Re:

        Every time another campaign comes along you guys whine about how independent companies and artists are the ones hurt by piracy.

        And shortly after you boast about how everyone's an addict to Hollywood and no one's stupid enough to get indie content.

        And the porn industry? Really? I'm starting to see why you make inane posts like this one.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Rikuo (profile), 22 May 2014 @ 1:26am

        Re: Re:

        "The market wants it for free, doesn't want to do anything that would contribute to paying for it, and so on."

        Then wouldn't that indicate that it is the job of the people who want to sell to that market to find a way to monetise their content in a way that the market will accept?
        I watch Youtube reviewers. I don't pay a penny to them. However, they found a way to monetise their content with Youtube, which is why I allow the ads to play before each video.
        What is so wrong with such a model, or similar ones? The fact you can't gouge me for money beforehand?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Tice with a J (profile), 22 May 2014 @ 1:44am

        Oh my God... it's full of dicks!

        Whatever, are you really saying that there's a shortage of porn?

        I try not to be a consumer of porn, but I have sought it out in the past, and I was always struck by how much of it there is. Even now, when I no longer seek out porn, it still finds me, and I am surprised and unsettled by the quantity and variety of smut presented to me. Even if you limit your search to very specific criteria, such as erotic novels about werewolves, there's still just so much porn out there. If you're worried about an imminent porn shortage, then all I can say is: we should be so lucky.

        As to the quality, I'm happy not knowing how good any of it is, but the truth is that quality hardly matters. Taste is highly subjective and highly malleable, so whatever's out there is guaranteed to be good enough.

        As for non-porn content, it has already experienced the same fate as the porn industry. There's just so much of it. So what do we have to worry about?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        JEDIDIAH, 22 May 2014 @ 8:04am

        You couldn't be more wrong if you tried.

        >> Imagine if they put all of this cash drive and innovation into giving consumers what they wanted, rather than chasing pirates they keep creating.
        >
        > They do exactly that.

        They do nothing of the sort. They remain firmly entrenched int he past while actively suppressing the companies interested in genuine innovation.

        K-Scape is the PERFECT example of that.

        It's a device that makes physical media more useful and thus more valuable and is likely to encourage MORE consumption of that physical media.

        It's the perfect sort of thing for a media hoarder.

        It's a concept that Hollywood should have embraced like a little kit hugging a teddy bear.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 22 May 2014 @ 8:17am

        Re: Re:

        "The market wants it for free"

        Or at a reasonable price, which is something else they don't want to do.

        The people want no region locks, no regional blocks for streaming, and no DRM-infected media. These are all reasonable requests, especially at the price demanded.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        John Fenderson (profile), 22 May 2014 @ 12:15pm

        Re: Re:

        "The market wants it for free, doesn't want to do anything that would contribute to paying for it, and so on."

        I think that you actually believe this, despite all of the evidence to the contrary. That's a little sad.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Pragmatic, 27 May 2014 @ 5:46am

        Re: Re:

        Uh, home-made porn is a factor here, which you haven't mentioned. Were you planning to? You can compete with free on service, but when people want to watch themselves doing it, how do you compete with that, even if your performers have movie-perfect bodies and John Doe and his partner(s) don't?

        Other business models are available; you can sell shares in the movie or get it pre-funded via Kickstarter, etc. or get it sponsored. Do you really think the Hollywood studio system is the only way to get movies made?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 May 2014 @ 9:03pm

    Man, the lawyers be making all the money.
    Time to move to the U.S of A, and bully citizens and start-ups.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    MemphisSlimSan, 21 May 2014 @ 9:17pm

    Never mind that over the ten years of this case, disc based media has become less and less relevant. I just saw a 200 dvd jukebox at the Goodwill a few days ago and remembered the 4 or 5 years when they were a hot item.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      techflaws (profile), 21 May 2014 @ 9:50pm

      Re:

      Yeah, right. Because everyone has sufficient bandwidth a affordable prices to stream true HD content.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 22 May 2014 @ 7:48am

        Re: Re:

        Stream? Why the hell would you have to stream it? Download it and watch it later.

        Actually, the pirates do a much better job at compressing files. Yify is a master of compression.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          JEDIDIAH, 22 May 2014 @ 8:09am

          Just one problem.

          That model only works for the illegal services.

          The vast majority of legal "download" services want you to stream the content every time you watch it. This is terribly wasteful for anything you might be inclined to watch more than once (children's movies).

          I don't recall DVD jukeboxes ever being a hot item. They were always ugly and primitive and expensive and didn't integrate with PC software like MCE. They always sucked and the market didn't take to them.

          Files on a hard drive make much more sense. Unfortunately the current legal regime makes that unnecessarily difficult.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            PRMan, 22 May 2014 @ 11:35am

            Re: Just one problem.

            We had a 100 DVD jukebox at work to hold all our MSDN discs once (every developer had a membership and hard drives weren't that big back then). Other than that, I've never actually seen one.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    flowerskorea, 21 May 2014 @ 9:43pm

    Express your love for mother with flowers and gifts

    Celebrations bring joy, love, bonding and happiness. It will make togetherness among the people through the online shopping sites. Send gifts and flowers to your Mother through online shopping on their special occasions which brings together all elements required to make one the happiest of all. Send Mother's Day Flowers to South Korea at affordable price

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  • identicon
    CharlieBrown, 21 May 2014 @ 10:05pm

    Don't Care

    Doing it anyway on said cheap computer with freeware.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 22 May 2014 @ 5:05am

      Re: Don't Care

      Been doing it for years on a cheap computer with freeware...and yes, i have all the plastic disks, boxed up and in storage should i ever have to answer for my collection.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        JEDIDIAH, 22 May 2014 @ 8:11am

        Re: Don't Care

        Same here. My stuff actually sits next to my primary media server display client.

        I could pull stuff out of the storage boxes and use the originals if necessary.

        It's MUCH NICER to use the media server interface though.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 May 2014 @ 9:22am

    Mike, read save and delete, goodbye

    Firstly how Thailand works.

    The coup military control the privy council.
    The privy council is the interface between King and People.
    People love the King.
    So privy council leverages that.
    Military controls the people by control of the perception of the King via the privy council.
    The soldiers swear allegiance to the King.
    The soldiers don't know they're controlled by the coup privacy council.
    Their boss is really a man named Prem Tinsulanonda.
    Any discussion of this is suppressed with a Les Majeste law.

    The King is old 86, he wants his son to take over. The Crown Prince.
    The Crown Prince is pro-democracy, Pro Thaksin, and independent.
    (Thaksin is the elected Prime Minister they deposed in the 2006 coup)
    The military wants a Princess to take over instead of the Crown Prince, easier to control.
    The Crown prince isn't a compliant as the King was.
    The Palace protects the Crown Prince with an army, RASU, about 10000 soldiers.
    The privy council are scared. If the Crown Prince won't obey them, they will lose their power.
    Their control of the monarchy is in the balance.

    If they lose control of the monarchy, they lose control of the army, and they lose control period.

    So they plan a coup.

    Their coup plan is based around Suthep, an ex politician with the Democrats.
    The Democrat party is another Prem body.
    Suthep is just a puppet, a good rabble rouser. His guards are ex military, trained in the South.
    He raised a mob in the south, it marched on Bangkok, he promised them he represented the King. He does not.
    Leveraging love of the King. But he represents Prem.
    The mob don't know, everything they know of the King is controlled by the Privy Council.
    His mob failed to depose the government after 6 months.
    Threats to Yingluk fail, threats to her son, fail.
    Threats by a Phuket doctor to operate on her genitals against her will, fail.
    Attempts to get farmers, students other mobs out fail. All fails.
    Some of his people want a Constitution Section 7, where the King removes the government. None of them can get access to the King, the palace protects the King, the Privy Council lose control.
    General Prayuth, todays coup leader, is one of the two remaining Generals loyal to Prem.
    The other General heads the Kings guards, another layer of control over the King.

    South Thailand is Prem controlled.
    Use Google maps, search 'Songkhla Thailand'. What's the name of the stadium? The park? The bridge?
    Prem keeps the south in chaos because his military is there. His stronghold is there.
    Sutheps guards are trained here.

    Everyone in the guards is military type, agent-provocateur and black ops are the norm.
    Lots of fake grenade attacks that miss their target, or have the pin left in, or attack empty buildings.
    How can a grenade be launched at a big stage with a big crowd and miss everyone and hit a food stall next door? Deliberately that's how!
    Sutheps protest leaders get grenade attacks, but the pins are left in, or they're thrown at empty houses, or miss, or fail to explode.
    Why would someone throw a grenade at an empty house and leave the pin in? A threat? More like disinformation!

    Suthep marches on Bangkok, demands the elected government resign so he can appoint a government.
    Yingluk Shinawatra calls elections. Lets vote.
    Privy Council immediately appoints new election commissioners, one, Somchai Srisutthiyakorn, in particular tries to block all elections.

    The Democrats (Prem political front) refuse to stand for elections.
    Suthep blocks a few polling stations, and the post office distributing the ballots. Elections are blocked in the Prem controlled South by Prem controlled mobs.
    Elections fail, Somchai deliberately takes no corrective action to unblock the poll, Charter Court (a coup court created in 2006) annulls the election.
    Somchai of the Election Commission then doesn't hold any fresh election. Months and months go by. No election.

    What does Suthep want? Reform. What reforms? Never says.

    Government sends unarmed police with tear gas and rubber bullets. Pan Fah bridge.
    They are met with grenades and gunshots.
    Fake policemen are spotted, armed, mixed into the crowd. More blackops.
    One man gives an interview claiming the police dropped the grenade at their own feet by accident, people notice later he is carrying one of these fake police uniforms over his arm.

    Pro Democracy, Pro Government Reds begin protests.
    They base themselves at Aksa road, near the Crown Princes home.
    Lots of them attend, initially 40,000.

    Senate is half coup appointments, half elected.
    They wait for the elected Senate half to be out for elections.

    The Prem group start a judicial coup. Unelected Senators propose removing the government for transferring a civil servant. Claiming nepotism.
    Coup Charter Court removes the Prime Minister and 9 ministers.
    Deputy PM takes the PM place.
    Coup fails, government still stands.
    9 ministers complain they were never given chance to give evidence in accordance with law! Or even named on the original charge... all illegal.

    Aksa road pro-democracy restarts, swells to hundreds of thousands of pro democracy protestors.

    Suthep marches with mob, now very small, thousands, mostly paid guards to Government House. Army lets him use it, sit in Prime Minister seat, nice photo op, looking like a Prime Minister.
    Unelected Senate half visit, treat him like PM, nobody cares, government still stands. Photo op counts for nothing. New coup idea flops.

    Election Commission holds an election meeting.
    Suthep guards ram the police and airforce guards with pickup trucks, meeting collapses. Elections cancelled indefinitely.
    TV shows youtube footage of ramraid, Suthep coup looks bad.

    Next idea. Suthep demands government officers visit him, Monday 19th May. None go. Another failed coup idea.
    General Prayuth has martial law, 3am Tuesday, claims 'due to recent grenade attack that killed 3 Suthep guards.'
    Really its the failure of Sutheps coup.

    General Prayuth is not confident. His soldiers are loyal to the King not to the Generals.
    He opts for martial law at first, controls the TV stations.
    We get a fake poll, 75% think martial law is great, but numbers fake.

    He calls everyone in to negotiate a compromise.
    It's a fake compromise, he's part of the coup group. PM refuses to go, sends deputy and ministers.

    Army soldiers find caches of guns with red security guard badges. Why would they leave id badges with the guns? More fake blockops to demonize pro-democracy reds.

    The compromise the army proposes, is completely Sutheps demands: That government resigns, coup leaders appoint government. No election. Not a compromise, simply Sutheps position repeated.
    Government refuses, Prayuth declares coup, takes control, soldiers surround them, arrest them all.
    Government leaders taken out with black bands over their eyes. Suthep and helper leaves without black bands or handcuffs, more for show, they are not under arrest, they are all part of the same coup group.

    The remaining protestors at Aksa road are arrested at gunpoint.
    4 guards at Aksa road hurt by army.
    Road blocks, curfew imposed.
    Schools closed tomorrow.
    Road to US embassy blocked.
    Monarchy safe but access to media controlled by privy council.

    This is where we are today.

    The facebook account burntobeamillionaire is the key account to watch.

    All Thais, all soldiers, especially those that believe they are pro-monarchy need to read the truth here and back our King and our Crown Prince. Seek out the crown prince, support him, you soldiers swore your oath, and your oath is not to General Prayuth and General Prem.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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