Movie Studios Sue Makers of DVD Copying Software

vbimport

#1

http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=technologyNews&storyID=2753527

Ouch


#2

Just as well DVD2ONE isn’t breaking any laws I guess.That’s why you’ll never see any kind of ripper added to this superb prog.


#3

Quite so. But neither is Europe governed by the terms of the controversial and iniquitous DMCA.

(And I think the Netherlands has no particular restrictions on anything much, provided you don’t do it in the streets and wither the tulips :wink: )

Long may it be so!

-Pete


#4

Hm ok, but I guess you might expect a lawsuit … the program’s content is rather controversial …


#5

You’d have to prove ‘intent’, among other things. Otherwise, it’s just a program to compress your home movies, the better to fit a DVD.

If the mere possibility or potential to commit a crime were in itself an offence, you might as well go out into the streets and arrest every adult male you could find and charge him with being in possession of the means to comit rape…

This is patently ridiculous, so all you are left with is charging people for misuse of the program; e.g. copying a rented Blockbuster title. And even then, provided it is not done for gain, I’m not sure that an ipso facto offence is committed.

This is why the DMCA is so controversial: it upsets the test of fairness and tilts it in favour of the manufacturers/studios.

-Pete


#6

Originally posted by Spacekiek
Hm ok, but I guess you might expect a lawsuit … the program’s content is rather controversial …

Controversial? According to who? The movie studios? Of course they have no bias here [SARCASM]. I predict that the DMCA will be reigned in and restricted by case law in its scope very soon - either by this case [Movie Studios vs. 321 Studios] or by upcoming cases.

Portions have already been hacked at by by the recent ruling from Judge Stephen Wilson in finding that Grokster & Morpheus can’t be held liable for the actions of their users (that ruling would apply should DVD2One ever get sued - but I highly doubt that, in fact, I’ll bet you a pint at your favorite pub that it won’t happen). The DMCA argument didn’t work there.

I sure hope the judge deciding this case, Judge Susan Illiston, has the same sense as Judge Wilson.

While I don’t condemn piracy :stuck_out_tongue: [sigh], I can see how with the recent actions by both the music and movie industry to severely limit consumers fair use rights that some may feel differently. In fact, I can understand if someone wants to open up a Netflix account and “back up” all the movies they can rent for about $20 a month and hurt the industry where it really hurts - in the pocket books.


#7

??
how much worth is this lawsuite…

if they software makers go for instance to the netherlands (as Peter said) or to germany…his decision is not worth a lott

i read ( a few years ago…i admit) in a german software magazine that people are (or were) allowed to make 2 or 3 back ups from each title…2 for them selves and even 1 for their friends.

not sure if that still counts…


#8

Still we are a DUTCH based company and we are NOT breaking a single copyright law.

Our program does not write by itself, and does not rip by itself.

You, as the user breakes the © by ripping the content to your harddisk. Sorry, but that’s reality.
And a other profit we have is that in the Netherlands you may make a backup copy of your OWN discs for your own use.


#9

Originally posted by ReneB
[B]Still we are a DUTCH based company and we are NOT breaking a single copyright law.

Our program does not write by itself, and does not rip by itself.

You, as the user breakes the © by ripping the content to your harddisk. Sorry, but that’s reality.
And a other profit we have is that in the Netherlands you may make a backup copy of your OWN discs for your own use. [/B]

You’re absolutely right - it’s the user that takes full responsbility. But the case against Grokster/Morpheus hinged on the argument that P2P technology facilitated copyright infringement by making it easier.

The same argument can be made against DVD2One - that the software makes it so easy to copy DVD’s with near digital quality, especially in Movie-Only mode (they really could care less if some pirated the special features such as behind the scenes, etc. because the pirates can’t make money off just that). Before copying DVD movies (especially from Dual-Layer DVD’s) was not especially easy, required many steps, and was very time consuming. The fact that DVD2One turned that process into a few clicks and 15 minutes or so is a testament to the programming prowess of you & Erwin earning the both of you the admiration & appreciation of thousands, but at the same time is probably making movie studios executives sweat bullets.

I still doubt that they would raise any legal actions against you guys, since the argument they would have used has been significantly weakened. However, if your user base begins to grow by leaps & bounds, they may decide to litigate anyway, but not to win… just to make you go broke with legal fees. You may win in the end, but the cost of that victory means that you’ll effectively be out of business.

As for your point about being a Dutch company, I would still worry. Jon Johansen is a Norwegian citizen, yet the MPAA effectively brought suit against him by convincing Norway’s OCU (Economic Crimes Unit) to take him to court for DeCSS. Although he won the first round and the MPAA/OCU is now appealing, it’s still far from over.

It’s definitely an interesting time for legal history.


#10

are you sure we can make 1 back-up for ourselves??
(in the netherlands?/) seesm sometimes that nobody is sure about that


#11

well in the Netherlands you may make a backup from your OWN DISCS for you’re self.

But the problem is that it’s also stated that you may not break any protections while doing that. So technicaly you’re only allowed to make copies of unprotected discs.

You may not make any copies from rental discs unless you rent them at a public library. (bibliotheek not videotheek!)
Every time you rent a disc a the library the library pays to the Buma.

But still, if the picture companies want to sue us they have to do that here in the netherlands by dutch laws.
And i strongly belief they don’t have a real case because like said before we only process data allready on your harddisk.

And honestly we have a very large userbase who use DVD2one to compress their OWN HOME MADE authored discs with DV-Video on it.
Because it’s faster to author the disc with programs like Sonic DVD and later on compress it with DVD2one then first recompress it to make the streams fit on a DVD5.


#12

As fas as I can see if push came to shove then the companies concerned would need to start looking at suing the makers of all cd/dvd writing software, the companies that produce blank cd/dvd and the manufacturers of cd/dvd writers (all these make it easier to make copies/backups)…myself I can’t see that DVD2ONE infinges any copyright laws whatsoever, as has been said it merely allows you to fit overly large video files onto a single disc.


#13

In the early days of video recording, Sony(!) was sued by these same people who are now gunning for 321, in respect of their Betamax VCR. The studios’ claim was that Sony was providing the means to allow mass copying of copyright material. This is substantially the accusation being made now against 321.
Fortunately, the judge was persuaded that while what the studios claimed was true, the video recorder had other uses which overrode these concerns. This is why you can now walk into your local electrical emporium and buy a VCR, legally.

321’s counsel seems to be pursuing this line of reasoning, citing various legitimate and reasonable uses for 321’s software other than ripping off the movie makers. If the judge is persuaded by these arguments, then the floodgates will open and every man and his dog will be free to sell/buy such software. If the judge is not persuaded, then 321 will either need to modify the software to bring it in line with the judge’s guidelines (if any), or cease trading. In the latter event - that the judgement goes against 321 - a precedence will be set. This is not of itself binding on judges trying subsequent cases of similar software, but it will be a very strong hint as to how it is likely to go…

As far as I can see, the situation is already lost. The software exists. It is on the web and it works. The fact that the end-user may technically be breaking the law is neither here nor there. Who is going to prove it? Who knows what you do in the confines of your own home (and don’t write in to tell me - I don’t give a damn;))

Poor old 321 may well become a casualty of war. But the studios will only have won the battle. Their war is already lost.

-Pete

It is interesting to note that it was 321 who sued the studios, not the other way round! They were attempting to clarify the current uncertainty by actual case law, presumably so they could then make business plans without worrying about the legality or otherwise of their operations. This is a decision they may yet come to regret. By attempting to pre-empt the studios they may have reacted to a threat that was not there: the studios may well have reached the same conclusion as I have - that the genie was out of the bottle and no power on earth was going to put him back.


#14

Quote by ReneB…

“And honestly we have a very large userbase who use DVD2one to compress their OWN HOME MADE authored discs with DV-Video on it. Because it’s faster to author the disc with programs like Sonic DVD and later on compress it with DVD2one then first recompress it to make the streams fit on a DVD5.”

I totally agree as I am just experimenting with transferring DV tapes to DVD and file size and compression methods are a constant concern. DVD2One can be an invaluable tool for maintaining the image quality of digital home movies.

Benn


#15

Agree with PEter.
Even if they would convict (or how you call it) 321 studios. There will be many alternatives on the net.

And there will be many more…because many make it a sport to beat hollywood


#16

I agree with all here in that I believe that DVD2One in and of itself is not doing anything illegal and has many legitimate uses. But alluding to Peter’s point that it may be a forgone conclusion that the movie studios may win this battle, I do wonder how many more battles would be won by the movie industry before ordinary consumers would win the war.

I have to admit that what 321 Studios did was gutsy [trying to pre-emptively get declaratory relief] - it may ultimately turn out to be a stupid move, but gutsy none the less.


#17

Do you think there will be any more battles? I don’t. What is there to gain? The software is now in the public domain. It’s too late.

The situation doesn’t seem to me to be any different from the copying of CDs and the recording of TV programs on VCRs. Provided this is done for personal use I can’t think of a single realistic way available to the studios of stopping it, however much it enrages them. Of course, they can and will be after any outfit doing this on a commercial scale, but the home user? I think not.

They will just have to accept the situation as part of living in an imperfect world - the same way that Rene, Erwin (and Bill, of course) have to put up with the occasional low-life ripping off their software;)

There is perhaps one way they could combat copying, although I doubt it will occur to them, and that is to pitch the price at a fair and reasonable level! The prices we pay in the UK for DVDs is nothing short of scandalous. And despite the fact that the manufacturing costs are much lower for DVDs than video tapes, the price is significantly higher. This is unjustifiable, cynical commercialism and they cannot now complain if the consumer adopts the same attitude…

Indeed, in the early days of commercial movies being available on video tape, the price of each tape was as much as £50 or more. Such tapes were intended only for rental outlets. Then someone had the bright idea of ‘sell through’ in which the price was reduced sufficiently for the general public to countenance actually buying a copy for themselves. To do this, the price had to fall from £50 to around £10. But, they sold so many more copies that profits soared, despite the new low prices.

Quite why this lesson has been lost on them I just don’t know.

-Pete


#18

the movie companies can still sue the creators of this software or any software makers for that matter… if nothing else they can make it harder for you to exsist…it is their right to sue you or anyone for anything…and you know they have the extra $$$$ to blow on high profile attorney’s… and who is to say,that the software guys have the funds to fight them…


#19

@ jackyl

I really think you ought to study law in some depth before voicing any opinions that are totally out of context with reality.


#20

Originally posted by menher
[B]@ jackyl

I really think you ought to study law in some depth before voicing any opinions that are totally out of context with reality. [/B]

i think you are the one who should study the law… because i could sue you for those comments… it doesnt mean i would win,because i probably wouldnt… but i could sue you for slander,or any other thing that i chose… thats part of being a american citizen… thats our right… my point was that these big movie companies can sue for anything they want,and tie up your time and your money in legal fees… doesnt mean they will win,but they damn sure got the time and resources to make the software makers lives a little uneasy…