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.

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

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  1. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    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.

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