Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Macrovision DMCA Lawsuit Targets DVD Copying Products


Macrovision announced today that it has filed a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) lawsuit against Sima and Interburn. According to Macrovision's press release:
[Their] infringing products allow users to make new unlicensed DVD disc copies by stripping Macrovision's patented ACP technology. The suit charges that Sima and Interburn therefore violate both Macrovision's patents and the DMCA, which prohibits circumvention of copy protection mechanisms.
The image above is of Sima's C-2, one of units products targeted in the lawsuit. Sima writes on its site that these "units allow you to preserve your family memories to DVD and enhance their video image at the same time", and has a notice on its site:
Use of this product for unauthorized duplication of copyrighted material from DVD, VHS or other media is prohibited under federal copyright laws unless the copy qualifies as a fair use under the Copyright Laws.
Circumvention of copy protection mechanism for fair use is not allowed under the DMCA. (The DMCRA seeks to change this.) If the products would actually rip Macrovision's
Analog Copy Protection scheme, and the press release claims that they "have very limited commercial uses other than to circumvent Macrovision's copy protection technology [...]", another DVD X Copy like ruling could follow. DVD X Copy also happens to be the main product Interburn is selling on its site. A site that stands on the blacklist of the manufacturer of DVD X Copy for allegedly
"selling licenses that either CANNOT be activated or are cracked versions that DO NOT WORK properly and/or that contain spyware. Product purchased from these sites will be deactivated and are not eligible for support or updates and should be returned for a refund." [bold in original-RL]
Nice. But I guess those who buy their DVD ripping software from a well-used international DMCA (lawsuit) bypass called the internet, can't be bothered if they download their copying software from a non-US site.
- - -
Later Be sure to read Ernest Miller's post on the lawsuit, explaining something I just very slightly touched upon: "This isn't about digital anti-circumvention (the most commonly invoked), but analog anti-circumvention." As a backgound he provides article 1201(k) of the DMCA, which sees on "Certain Analog Devices and Certain Technological Measures" and, according to Miller, "makes it quite clear that Congress considers this technology copy protection technology, and because it is mandated for VCRs, makes arguing around it quite difficult."
Also interesting is his follw-up to the post: Mark Cuban Has Questions About the Macrovision DMCA Lawsuit.

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