Did anyone around here read the article at Torrentfreak about a Kickstarter project called Movieswap?

They seem to have reached their goal on funding, but I have no idea how they expect to survive even one legal challenge to the service. Basically they want people to send in their copies of DVD’s so that anyone who signs up for the service can watch the DVD’s online. It seems there has to be a physical copy of the movie available, and if it is a popular movie, it is possible that you won’t be able to stream it if all the copies are being accessed at the same time. In other words, for each physical copy, there will be one ripped copy on the server.

To get around decryption prohibitions, it seems they are keeping the original encryption intact in the ISO files on their servers. This is not the normal way to rip, but I have heard of it being done in the past, especially with the failed RealNetworks service called RealDVD. They got hammered in court because they allowed downloads of movies that people did not own. Movieswap believe they are sidestepping this issue by being a streaming service only.

But I cannot see this existing for long, even in France, where Movieswap seems to be headquartered. Basing a commercial enterprise on the fair use rights of individual members of your service…it just doesn’t seem like a logical extension of those rights.


Does anyone else see an obvious flaw in their plans? One wonders if they’ve ever actually watched an original DVD - it’s not even as though you can skip past the warnings. :rolleyes:

What they have said they intend to do is so clearly illegal that I suspect their true intention may be to defraud investors. I’m surprised Kickstarter haven’t shut down this one already.

This particular example came from Absolute Power (Series 1), but all mainstream commercial discs have something similar - [B]unauthorised lending is prohibited[/B]. Of course the law varies from country to country. But as an EU member state France will have the same basic copyright law to the rest of the EU.

Exchanging original discs between friends is permitted, which is what they are likening their model to. But what they are proposing is public lending which is expressly forbidden unless authorised.

Furthermore, leaving the encryption intact doesn’t escape the fact they have made an unauthorised copy and bypassed a copy protection system to use the copyrighted material for a purpose which is expressly forbidden.