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DRM Media Movies The Courts Your Rights Online

Ruling Prohibits Kaleidescape From Selling, Supporting Movie Servers 136

Posted by Soulskill
from the our-way-or-the-highway dept.
Stowie101 writes "Kaleidescape has lost its drawn-out legal battle with the DVD CCA. A judge has issued a permanent injunction that prohibits the sale and support, including product updates, of existing DVD movie servers. 'As part of the injunction, Kaleidescape and its dealers can no longer offer technical support for products that are already in the field, meaning existing servers can receive no updates or repairs.' Kaleidescape has filed an appeal and 'believes that under California law the injunction order should not come into effect unless the California Court of Appeal affirms Judge Monahan's decision.'"
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Ruling Prohibits Kaleidescape From Selling, Supporting Movie Servers

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  • So... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by lagartoflojo (998588) on Monday March 12, 2012 @02:53PM (#39330605)
    What is Kaleidescape and why should I care?

    (Yes, I know there's Google. But a bit of context would be nice.)
    • Kaleidescape is... (Score:5, Informative)

      by earls (1367951) on Monday March 12, 2012 @02:54PM (#39330625)

      "Manufacturer of a movie server that digitally stores and organizes your Blu-ray and DVD movies, and makes them available from any television in your home."

      So a ripping station.

      • by BagOBones (574735) on Monday March 12, 2012 @02:58PM (#39330667)

        A really high end, nearly fully automated ripping station, mostly use in the entertainment systems of the wealthy.

      • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Monday March 12, 2012 @03:04PM (#39330735) Journal
        If memory serves, a ripping station that(in an ultimately doomed effort at compliance) ripped only bit-for-bit disk images(and yes, realistically, their price alone kept them away from most pirates).

        Their theory of operation, not good enough to save them from the MFIAA, was that the rip was DMCA compliant because it didn't break any encryption at all, just made a bit-for-bit backup copy of the DVD in question. Then, upon user request, the encrypted bitstream from the disk image would be fed to an ordinary, licensed, decoder, same as any DVD player, with all the usual i's dotted and T's crossed(in terms of restricted outputs, macrovision, etc.)

        Team content(for reasons unclear) declared a bitter war of attrition against a boutique luxury product purchased largely by cinemaphiles with huge movie collections that they used to enhance their enjoyment thereof, despite the fact that the pirate kiddies of the world weren't even inconvenienced in continuing to pile up multi-terabyte franken-NAS piracy servers.

        Foolish, vindictive, and shortsighted. Not that that's a huge surprise.
        • by adnoid (22293) on Monday March 12, 2012 @03:42PM (#39331239)

          It's not really even a ripping station. It's a system for watching your DVDs and BDs in a really convenient manner.

          Disclaimer: I work in the industry that Kaleidescape sells to, I work with a couple of people that used to work there, and I know Michael Malcom. And we've got one of their systems set up in our offices.

          Your analysis is correct in that the system copies DVDs, BDs and CDs to a hard disk array that, in our case, is in a rack in the equipment room (it's got fans that are loud along with with the spinning drives) and plays them via a player with an HDMI output in a different part of the building. The units are connected via the same Ethernet network used for data. If you know the background, you know that the founders of the company approached the DVD CCA and did, indeed, get a license. The DVD CCA changed their mind about the license later. They are the ass clowns, in case there was any doubt.

          It's not just the playback that's useful, the system allows you to set favorite scenes and jump right to them. We need to demonstrate various audio and video capabilities of the equipment we manufacture. Being able to jump from movie to movie, scene to scene with a push of a button - or to write a simple script to run a full demonstration - without having to wait for each disk to spin up, display the FBI warning, etc. is the reason we have the unit.

          We've also bought every single title that's on it. When you are playing a scene from a movie to the people who were involved in making it, it would be really embarrassing to explain that you ripped it from a rental. Not that people that pay the amount that one of these systems cost are the kind of people who flinch at paying for a movie anyway.

          Do you want to know who owns systems like this? There's one big group I know of - next time you see a movie, watch the names in big type in the credits. When their home systems stop working, I hope they direct their ire at the DVD CCA, because those are the folks that broke their toys.

          • by tlhIngan (30335)

            Do you want to know who owns systems like this? There's one big group I know of - next time you see a movie, watch the names in big type in the credits. When their home systems stop working, I hope they direct their ire at the DVD CCA, because those are the folks that broke their toys.

            Fat chance, because those big names are also controlled by the MPAA, and the DVD CCA will simply say their systems were disabled because of "piracy fears" and "you DO want your royalty cheques, right?".

            Or maybe that's why the

          • ... without having to wait for each disk to spin up, display the FBI warning, etc.

            And this is the part that galls me. I don't mind paying for content but it rankles me when I have to sit there waiting for the stern warning not to pirate the content. I know full well that anyone who pirates the content does not see that. The industry inflicts that only on their paying customers. Beyond that, I hate that the disk goes right into a bunch of previews that I have to waste time skipping. With Blu-Ray disks I even have to wait while it downloads previews. I pay for content and the industry tre

        • by mrops (927562)

          More and more I read about MAFIAA, it really seems that they believe to have a successful business case for selling same movie to the same customer more than once. Once for your iPad, once for your iPhone, once for your TV1 and again for TV2, if they can get away with it. It seems they think it is logical that the user pays for right to view on every screen he owns.

          IMO, its doomed to fail.

          • by Genda (560240) <mariet.got@net> on Monday March 12, 2012 @04:53PM (#39332201) Journal

            I'm sorry but you're just not getting the message. They want you to pay for it each and every time you see it. They want you to have to sit through 10-30 minutes of commercials whether you see it on a TV, your iPad, or at a theater. They want to CONTROL every aspect, particle, atom of how and when it will be viewed and if you infringe on any atom of their control, they want to part you out for organs and tissue and make a profit on your earthly remains.

            These are men who have raised avarice and control to art forms, and keep packs of hungry lawyer on tap, just to remind you if you should forget.

            • by EdIII (1114411)

              Yep. That's essentially it.

              Those people want to do away with all copyrights as they exist now, outlaw all fair use, and create a system in which they have absolute control over their content regardless of where it is.

              Rewriting copyrights and the laws from the ground up, bit by bit, lawyerpult by lawyerpult, till they have the system that is totally in their favor, and allows them to "monetize" their content to the maximum extent not currently allowed by common sense, ethics, morality, or the current legal

        • by Kagato (116051)

          This isn't a DMCA issue per se. The issue is they went with what they thought was the legal way of doing things. That is to say they actually licensed a DVD CCA license for the product. They were issued a DVD player license key and could lawfully use the DVD logo on their machine and marketing. The problem more or less is a contractual one between them and DVD CCA because they tried to do things on the up and up. There are other products out there that do the exact same thing. They aren't being sued b

        • by tqk (413719)

          Foolish, vindictive, and shortsighted. Not that that's a huge surprise.

          That's SOP. See CD players, VCRs, player pianos, wax tube recordings, ...

      • What if, in some future iPod, the Apple corporation gave us the ability not just to rip CDs but also DVDs, so we could listen to music or watch shows on-the-go?

        Would the DVD Cartel.... er, Forum smack them down too? Or is Apple part of the cartel?

        (ponder)

        • by steveha (103154)

          Step 0 is to get the CCA to change the licensing terms on CSS descrambling. I don't think Apple could do that.

          I don't understand why the MPAA guys are so rabid about DVD copying. Handbrake has been available for years, mainstream magazines have published how-to articles on how to use Handbrake to rip your DVDs and re-encode them to smaller files, and I have met people with home media centers that are stuffed to bursting with DVD images. Yet any attempt to try to do this legally is nuked in court.

          Maybe th

    • by Kenja (541830)
      Its a 10,000$+ answer to a problem that a ripping program and a media player already solved. As much as I dislike the decision, I cant really bring myself to care due to the market they where targeting. Had they not tried to work with the CCA and had instead just made media servers and players that could be used in much the same way but without trying to preserve the encryption (and without advertising the devices as being intended for use with encrypted content) I think they would have faired better.
      • by cpu6502 (1960974)

        So you are against a company that tries to obey the law (per the DMCA) and instead suggest they should have been breaking the law (cracking encryption/not paying DVD license fees). That is illogical.

        Another article worth reading. It does sound similar to a cartel, but I suppose it's no different than the Matsushita/JVC/Mitsubishi/Sharp cartel (which controlled licensing for VHS VCRs): http://www.cepro.com/article/industry_insider_dvd_cca_is_an_innovation_stifling_cartel/ [cepro.com]

        • When the law is illogical, it is illogical to respect it.

          • Instead of breaking said illogical law, it would be better to tell others about it, so everyone else can see how bad it is. You get a lot more credibility that way.
            • Nobody cares how illogical the law is. The legislators who passed the DMCA have already received their checks, paperclipped to the draft of the law itself.

              It doesn't matter if 200,000,000 Americans think the law is illogical, because they're not the ones coughing up the baksheesh, are they?

      • by Lumpy (12016)

        Rich people dont have the IQ to do that. Kalidescape did it for them, completely automatic, buy disc, insert in drive, next time you walk by remove the disc. zero effort ripping.

        Using anyDVD+Handbrake and setting up a NAS with XBMC is way WAY beyond the abilities of the 1%

        • by mcgrew (92797) *

          Rich people aren't any smarter or dumber than anyone else. Some of them are brain-dead stupid, some are members of MENSA. You really think Steve Wosniac and Bill Allen are stupid and can't set up a ripper?

          The thing is, they don't have to bother with Handbrake and XBMC; they have the cash to buy anything they want and probably simply have no desire to do it. I know how to change my car's oil but I pay someone to do it, just because I hate working on cars. And I'm not even rich.

        • by Rakarra (112805)

          Rich people dont have the IQ to do that. Kalidescape did it for them, completely automatic, buy disc, insert in drive, next time you walk by remove the disc. zero effort ripping.

          Using anyDVD+Handbrake and setting up a NAS with XBMC is way WAY beyond the abilities of the 1%

          It's not way beyond their abilities, it's that their time is a bit too valuable to waste on pointless continuing busy work when another product actually does what they want well. Still pretty damn pricey though..

          • by jedidiah (1196)

            No. They still have people to baby sit the thing.

            K-scape also sells pre-ripped media packs.

            The idea that the device itself is any more suitable than something that one of us might cobble together is dubious at best. Part of the "product" seems to be after market support and that's not something you would get with cheap consumer appliance even if it were an exact clone.

    • by cpu6502 (1960974)

      I was confused too so I read this article: http://www.cepro.com/article/kaleidescape_ruling_on_dvd_copying_could_quash_innovation [cepro.com] QUOTE: "It is a sad day for innovation when it comes to American-made consumer electronics manufacturers that try to abide by the intent of the law. Kaleidescape makes expensive servers that transfer DVDs âoebit-for-bitâ with CSS encryption intact."

      It sounds like it is the equivalent of an iPod or other music server, which rips music from CDs and stores them in digita

      • by mcgrew (92797) *

        Since DVDs and BluRays are encrypted, the DMCA applies. CDs no longer have DRM. That's why this is illegal and ripping CDs isn't.

        • by Coren22 (1625475)

          This does a bit by bit copy though. There isn't a break of the encryption until the device that attaches to your TV, which was licensed.

    • by jedidiah (1196)

      The phrase "DVD movie server" should have been a hint. I know it's asking a lot to actually read the original article but you should at least bother reading the summary.

    • With such a retarded name (albeit that it must have sounded oh-so-fucking clever and hip after several beers) I'd find against them before even hearing the evidence.

  • by cpu6502 (1960974) on Monday March 12, 2012 @02:59PM (#39330687)

    My only disagreement is this:

    Just because the DVD won't be available until the fall is not justification to download it freely. Oftentimes cable channels like HBO want to play the show over-and-over several times (for subscribers) before releasing it to everyone else. Movie studios do the same thing (release to theaters first; DVD later).

    http://theoatmeal.com/comics/game_of_thrones [theoatmeal.com]

    • by sanosuke001 (640243) on Monday March 12, 2012 @03:20PM (#39330933)
      That comic is spot on why I understand when people decide to torrent things. The corporations are making it increasingly hard for customers to give them money for things they are willing to pay for so, out of frustration, the would-be customer goes somewhere they won't get the arse-hole (you don't want to give me the arse-hole, do you, Gary?).

      Another big issue is that they're just understanding that digital distribution is in for good (legal or torrent-based) but they expect you to pay the brick-and-mortar prices for digital versions. Again, this pushes people to torrent because they feel like they're getting fucked when the Blu-Ray in stores is $30 and the download is $35. For example, season 7 of "How I Met Your Mother" is $1.99 for SD and $2.99 for HD per episode on Amazon. 18 episodes total, so $35.82 or $53.82 total. Since the Blu-Ray isn't released for Season 7, the Season 4 Blu-Ray is $29.99 ("on sale" from $49.99). So, even if it weren't "on sale" the Blu-Ray version would be cheaper than the digital version.

      Same thing for DRM and those pesky FBI Priacy warnings that aren't fast-forwardable; pirates have no issues, paying customers are berated for doing the right thing. Overall, it feels like they WANT their potential customers to say, "fuck it, i'll torrent" and not give them their money. Honestly, it's frustrating...
      • by cpu6502 (1960974)

        You are spot-on with the pricing (Bluray cheaper than download version). Nuts. And it's not only DVD/Blurays, but also books. It's ridiculous that I have to pay the same price for a Kindle book as the real thing.

        At least with the real thing, I can sell it on eBay/Amazon and recoup my money. So the net-cost of the physical item is only ~25% of the list price. Why on earth would I pay 100% for an e-book that I'm stuck with forever? (Or until my license runs out.)

        The corporations need to wake-up to the f

      • by chrismcb (983081)

        That comic is spot on why I understand when people decide to torrent things. The corporations are making it increasingly hard for customers to give them money for things they are willing to pay for so, out of frustration, the would-be customer goes somewhere they won't get the arse-hole

        Increasingly hard? If you mean by hard, you mean much easier than ever before sure. I can't ever remember when a movie or tv show was available on dvd/vhs/bluray immediately. In fact I remember when you couldn't even GET the TV series. And now most series are available.
        MOST people I know pirate movies because they are greedy and want it for free. Some people try to rationalize it, as "it is easier" or "it is the only way." But really they mean "it is free."

        • by mcgrew (92797) *

          MOST people I know pirate movies because they are greedy and want it for free.

          Let me guess... you're the only pirate you know? If not, birds of a feather and all that. Did you know that studies show that pirates spend more on media than non-pirates? But to hell with studies, your morally indigent friends are a good enough metric, right?

    • by Anthony Mouse (1927662) on Monday March 12, 2012 @03:34PM (#39331119)

      Oftentimes cable channels like HBO want to play the show over-and-over several times (for subscribers) before releasing it to everyone else. Movie studios do the same thing (release to theaters first; DVD later).

      Which is, of course, why they're idiots.

      People are always talking about "justification" and "it isn't right" and similar moral indignation which ignores the simple fact that if someone can't buy the thing they want, they still have the option to pirate it. The answer to the question "how many sales are lost to piracy" when the product is not available for sale is always "all of the sales." Because you can't buy something you can't buy.

      So here come the studios saying that they still make more from selling theater tickets to people who have to have it right away than they would get by selling the DVD sooner. Which is why they're still idiots. Nobody says you have to price the DVD at the same level while it's still in the theater or playing on HBO as you do a year later when you normally would have released it. Putting it for sale at a higher price gives people an option. And then some of those people will buy it. And some of them won't because it costs too much, so they'll either wait or pirate -- but since you never would have gotten those sales anyway, that doesn't matter.

      The only sensible reason to not offer something immediately is that it would displace a different offering by the copyright holder which would have been more profitable. But that is not a reason for refusing to offer it at all, all it means is you should price the earliest DVD release so that you make as much on the DVD as you would by selling the number of theater tickets (or HBO subscriptions) that a DVD sale displaces. Hence, the studios are idiots. Completely regardless of the moral status of the pirates.

      • by zzsmirkzz (974536)
        I Agree. There were a number of times when I was at the theater where if I was given the option upon leaving to buy the DVD/BluRay of the movie I just watched, I would of. Note that I did not got back and pay to see it in the theater again. I figured instead of cutting out the theater, you include them. Give them the rights to sell the DVD's first (movie only), while they are in theaters, then do the normal black-out while it's between Theater and Store (in which no one is selling) and then have the stores
      • by cpu6502 (1960974)

        All true BUT if you could buy the new HBO episodes of Season 2; Game of Thrones the very first day, why would you subscribe to the channel? The answer is that you wouldn't. HBO releasing the DVD or online episodes immediately would be the same as committing suicide. They would lose subscribers to their channel (ditto any of the other cable channels).

        They hold back the product in order to attract people to join Comcast or Dish, and then subscribe to HBO's new episodes.

        • the comic does say that he doesn't want to buy the whole channel just for one show.

        • All true BUT if you could buy the new HBO episodes of Season 2; Game of Thrones the very first day, why would you subscribe to the channel? The answer is that you wouldn't.

          And...? The existing HBO model is totally braindead anyway. What possible benefit is there in not offering HBO as a website like Hulu, for the same price as it costs as a cable channel? Then HBO gets 100% of that money instead of sharing it with asshats like Comcast, and customers get to subscribe to HBO without subscribing to Comcast TV. Problem solved.

          The sole thing standing in the way of that is that grandpa doesn't understand how to plug the internet into the TV, so you still have to offer the channel w

      • I have an example of how idiotic the studios are: in 1980, Universal published the final season of Battlestar Galactica. In 1987, I recorded said show on VHS. From that point until February 2008, my only source of that show were those tapes (it was not available on prerecorded VHS, period. I ripped them to digital around 2004, which was lucky because the tapes by that time were incredibly well worn 3rd generation copies and ready to break). I did buy the DVDs the day they came out but I was royally PISSED O

      • by SeaFox (739806)

        The answer to the question "how many sales are lost to piracy" when the product is not available for sale is always "all of the sales." Because you can't buy something you can't buy.

        No, wait a minute, that makes no sense. The answer is "none". If the pirate option didn't exist the maker would still have zero sales, so they can't blame the piracy for that. It's the same justification for abandonware computer games. If the product is not available for sale you can't buy it even if you want to, so the studio has no one to blame but themselves for the lost sales -- they don't want to follow the Long Tail. [wikipedia.org]

        For an example of following the Long Tail, look to Steam. A couple weeks ago I bought

        • No, wait a minute, that makes no sense. The answer is "none". If the pirate option didn't exist the maker would still have zero sales, so they can't blame the piracy for that.

          This is the same fallacy that leads to "piracy is costing us billions of dollars." There can be more than one but-for cause of a single event. In this case piracy is leading to lost sales both because piracy exists and because it is impossible to buy the legitimate offering. If either of those things was untrue, there would be more sales: If piracy did not exist then when the DVD is ultimately released it would have higher sales, because some of the people who were diverted to piracy by the previous lack of

    • by billcopc (196330)

      "Cunthammer"

      I just learned my new favorite word!

      • Cunthammer is a fucking awesome word !
        please help me to find a way to use that in context with a female suit that I particularly despise before next week !

  • But, it wasn't removing the copy protection, and it wasn't sharing outside of the home... so I think this finding is BS... Still, it doesn't keep us from building our own. It's very simple, actually...
    • Re:Total BS (Score:5, Insightful)

      by gmuslera (3436) * on Monday March 12, 2012 @03:06PM (#39330763) Homepage Journal

      So this rule forces people to use solutions that could actually remove copy protection or share outside of the home?

      With employees like this the MPAA don't need enemies

    • by Rakarra (112805)

      But, it wasn't removing the copy protection, and it wasn't sharing outside of the home... so I think this finding is BS... Still, it doesn't keep us from building our own. It's very simple, actually...

      The ruling is probably legitimate. 'Piracy' was never in question or charged, the lawsuit was about whether Kaleidescape violated the terms of the extremely complex contract that they signed with the DVD-CCA. It was a contract dispute form the beginning. And of course nothing will stop you from building your own, especially if you use software that's in a legal grey area. Kaleidescape was trying to sell products in the US that had to be completely in the white area of the law.

  • Ummm .... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by gstoddart (321705) on Monday March 12, 2012 @03:00PM (#39330703) Homepage

    So, I can do this with Apple TV. At one point, I did this with my XBox.

    Things like Slingbox have allowed you to stream your media to your TV for years.

    Why is this industry incapable of recognizing that users would prefer to have a juke-box with their movies? Especially people with kids I should think.

    In this case, it sounds like the product tried very hard to not be helping illegal copying.

    • by berashith (222128)

      There is no way to prove that the disk being copied is yours! Of course, somebody is providing physical media in this case, unlike torrents that are just outright stolen and distributed without any restriction. It is amazing the lengths that these people can go to that do no good at all for protecting their cause.

    • by cpu6502 (1960974)

      Xbox and AppleTV let you copy all of your DVDs to their hard drive, and then put the DVDs back into storage? I didn't think they had that capability, which would mean they aren't the same as the Kaleidoscape (which is more like a large iPod that rips DVDs instead of CDs).

      • by gstoddart (321705)

        Xbox and AppleTV let you copy all of your DVDs to their hard drive, and then put the DVDs back into storage?

        No. I didn't realize the tool in question was allowing you to rip for later playback.

        So, yeah, a fair bit of difference in those two.

      • by Nerdfest (867930)

        RDF.

    • Lots of people have juke boxes. I used to have two 400 DVD carousels. These would work fine if you had kids who you didn't want to handle the media.

      The Kaleidescape is (was) unique in that it allows you to insert a DVD, rip it and then remove the DVD from the system and still be able to play the DVD because it copied the CSS keys.

      Other DVD jukeboxes copy the DVD titles but don't copy the CSS keys so they require the physical DVD in order to play back the movie.

      I imagine this is where Kaleidescape will have

    • by houghi (78078)

      Why is this industry incapable of recognizing that users would prefer to have a juke-box with their movies?

      Oh, they recognize it and they are very well aware of it. It is that they do not really care.
      They want to make money and if customers get a nice product, that is a nice side effect, not the goal.

    • The disk images were being sent to Kaleidescape's server's, not your local jukebox.

      That's the problem.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        No, the disc images were being sent to the local Kaleidescape physical server in your home. I have a Kaleidescape and have owned their systems for about 8-9 years now.

    • by gl4ss (559668)

      yep, but _you_ never signed a license deal with dvd licensors! ..never sign a deal with them, you'll only get fucked in a bad way.

  • by Overzeetop (214511) on Monday March 12, 2012 @03:16PM (#39330877) Journal

    This is one of the areas that the DMCA creates an illusory right. The law specifically states that the right to fair use, which includes time and format shifting, is not to be affected by the law. The law also prohibits anyone from assisting in removing copy protection.

    The key is that the ability to remove the protection for fair use _must_ be available and reasonable for the average person who has paid for the product, or the right to format shift in accordance with fair use doctrine is purely illusory. This is pretty common, and when it comes up in contract law, it's pretty straightforward - you can't give illusory rights.

    IA(of course)NAL, and even lawyers will disagree, but the law explicitly states a right (fair use) that is not to be altered, and then effectively alters that right by making it illegal for nearly everyone to obtain access to it.

    I would like to see the law struck down - or at least the traffiking in copy protection removal devices and software removed for any fair use right, including personal use.

    • This is one of the areas that the DMCA creates an illusory right.

      No, it isn't.

      The law specifically states that the right to fair use, which includes time and format shifting, is not to be affected by the law.

      Fair use is a pre-existing (compared to the DMCA) statutory right in copyright law (and, at least in part, reflects limitations on copyright imposed by the Constitutional rights of free speech & free press), and not a right created by the DMCA. Ergo, leaving aside questions of the exact extent of

      • by Overzeetop (214511) on Monday March 12, 2012 @03:54PM (#39331403) Journal

        That's a very fine point to put in it.

        It is true that this chapter of the law does not grant fair use rights, but it is part of Title 17 (Chpt 1201 to be exact), not a standalone title.

        The summary provided by the US Copyright Office attempts to address this condition, and utterly fails:

        "This distinction [between unauthorized access and unauthorized copying] was employed to assure that the public will have the continued
        ability to make fair use of copyrighted works. Since copying of a work may be a fair use under appropriate circumstances, section 1201 does not prohibit the act of circumventing a technological measure that prevents copying. By contrast, since the fair use doctrine is not a defense to the act of gaining unauthorized access to a work, the act of circumventing a technological measure in order to gain access is prohibited"

        The problems is that since there is no mechanism for the CCA to grant copy authority, copying for fair use by the public requires that "unauthorized" access be granted. This isn't like the DAT recorders which implemented copy once which allowed fair use copies. Without access, no mechanism short of access to the material is available to the public to make a fair use copy. The law makes it impossible to obtain the method from anyone else. It's a key flaw in the logic of the text, and one that has, afaik, not been tested, at least in part because nobody who has a business model based on removing CCA has enough money to do so.

        The right given in Title 17 is, therefore, made illusory by the law itself. I don't know how the courts view language in a law versus an interpretation of an illusory right in a contract, but there is a certain parity to the conditions.

        • That's a very fine point to put in it.

          Not really. Its very simple: Fair use rights as explicit statutory rights have existed for decades longer than DMCA, and reflect rights that have been ruled to be Constitutional limits on copyright law due to the First Amendment.

          It is indefensible to say that the DMCA created fair use rights (whether illusory or otherwise), since it didn't create them at all, since the rights were created (depending on exactly how you want to look at things) either by the adoption of th

    • by Sloppy (14984)

      The law specifically states that the right to fair use, which includes time and format shifting, is not to be affected by the law.

      Judge Kaplan wiped out that part of the law a decade ago, in the 2600 case. Those words truly mean nothing and there is not a single scenario that you can possibly imagine, where they would apply. Seriously. No one can name a single counter-example; it has never been successfully used.

      Folks, the movie studios really don't want you to buy shiny discs and try to work with them.

    • This is one of the areas that the DMCA creates an illusory right. The law specifically states that the right to fair use, which includes time and format shifting, is not to be affected by the law. The law also prohibits anyone from assisting in removing copy protection.

      The key is that the ability to remove the protection for fair use _must_ be available and reasonable for the average person who has paid for the product, or the right to format shift in accordance with fair use doctrine is purely illusory. This is pretty common, and when it comes up in contract law, it's pretty straightforward - you can't give illusory rights.

      IA(of course)NAL, and even lawyers will disagree, but the law explicitly states a right (fair use) that is not to be altered, and then effectively alters that right by making it illegal for nearly everyone to obtain access to it.

      I would like to see the law struck down - or at least the traffiking in copy protection removal devices and software removed for any fair use right, including personal use.

      Just one minor nitpick: Fair use does not include format shifting. According the EFF Fair Use FAQ [eff.org] the legal basis for format shifting "...is not completely settled yet..."

      I can see why it isn't settled yet. The proliferation of standards and viewing devices presents a golden opportunity for content providers. Content providers want to get paid as many times as they can for the same content -- that's simply good business. The idea is the same one that requires you to buy a ticket each time you watch a

      • Format shifting for personal use, if not specifically rendered illegal by Statute, is fundamentally LEGAL.

        This is true for ANYTHING.

  • This may prevent Kaleidescape and its dealers from supporting the servers, but does it prevent someone not connected with Kaleidescape from setting up a support operation for the servers?

    • No, they can't, or they would then be charged with traffiking in circumvention devices. Of course, each individual may learn to program and keep their own software updated, but they can't share it with anyone else. It's like saying your free to make a phone call, and then covering your mouth with duct tape. You're still allowed to make a call.

  • by Nom du Keyboard (633989) on Monday March 12, 2012 @03:32PM (#39331105)

    I see this as just another out-of-control (I won't go quite as far as bought off) California judge that the 99% of us would be far better off if s/he were removed from the bench permanently. With judges like this I'm surprised that we ever got as far as being allowed to have our own electric lights. S/he surly would have killed of the VCR if ever given the chance, likely along with the cassette and reel-to-reel decks as well if they had recording abilities. S/he would likely take out your DVR as well, given the chance.

    • by c0d3g33k (102699)

      I hate to break it to you, but reel-to-reel and cassette decks (to put them in the right chronological order) did have recording capabilities.

      Apart from that - totally enjoyed your post.

    • I don't know what's worse - people who think judges should be subject to the wrath of the mob, or people who think that only pinko-commie California judges behave in a way that they object to.

      Reading crap like this makes me happy that out-of-control judges do exist, just to remind the posters of the independence of the judiciary.

      • by jedidiah (1196)

        I am not sure "bending over forwards for Hollywood" really makes this California judge "out of control". If anything, I suspect that's there expected mode of operation.

        Although if there was ANY grey area in that contract at all then the judge should have found for k-scape. There are such things as precedents that are older than the nation and this is one of them.

      • by cpu6502 (1960974)

        This judge ran for election, and likely received money from corporate backers to fund the campaign (and will receive money in the future). So he is far from "independent" but instead bought-and-paid for just like the top poster said.

        • I'm sure you have something to back up your claim of what is essentially bribery?

          • by cpu6502 (1960974)

            All politicians receive bribery during their re-election campaigns, all the way up to the president. Just look at the top donors for Obama and Romney (the list is almost identical).

    • by Rakarra (112805)

      Could you please tell us which part of the finding indicates that the judge did not make a legally-sound decision?

  • by steveha (103154) on Monday March 12, 2012 @04:48PM (#39332131) Homepage

    I worked at RealNetworks for a while, on a doomed project called RealDVD. There were going to be two versions of RealDVD: a software-only version you could run on your laptop or whatever, and a software stack to be licensed to consumer electronics companies.

    The reason RealNetworks thought there was a chance they could do this was: Kaleidescape. Kaleidescape made such a product, got sued, and won. There was a clear legal precedent.

    For the next section, you are getting this third- or fourth-hand. I wasn't there for this. This is what I remember of how it was explained to me. I apologize in advance if anything here is incorrect.

    What did Kaleidescape do? They signed up as a licensed and authorized customer of the official CSS unscrambling code, and built a licensed DVD player. Theirs just happened to have a big box full of hard drives that cached the disc images. (They had a quiet and stylish head-end unit for your living room, and some sort of big noisy box or boxes for the hard drives, which you would put in your basement or whatever.)

    Once it was clear what Kaleidescape was up to, they got hit with a lawsuit for violation of contract. They were sued by the authority in charge of CSS, the CCA. In court, Kaleidescape pointed out that they had obeyed the contract to the letter: the contract didn't say anything about not copying the discs, or about the disc needing to be in the drive at the time of playback. (After they signed the contract, they received the technical specs, and the technical documents said "you can't copy the discs and the disc must be in the drive at the time of playback". Kaleidescape argued in court that this cannot be legally held to be part of the contract. The judge agreed.) Kaleidescape prevailed in court.

    So, RealNetworks looked at this and said: clear legal precedent that this is legal to do. We had better do everything exactly the way Kaleidescape did it. So we ripped a bit-exact copy of each DVD, making no attempt to re-encode in MPEG4 or anything like that. We encrypted each disc image. We even made the UI pop up messages saying things like "remember, you can only do this if you own the disc". (It goes without saying, but RealNetworks also licensed CSS decryption, with all the hassles [slashdot.org] that entailed.)

    Now, while Kaleidescape charged US $30,000 for their first model, and only US $10,000 for their "inexpensive" model, RealNetworks was going for a $300 price point on the consumer electronics product, and a $50 price point on the Windows software. No doubt this raised the level of concern from the MPAA; instead of a few rich people buying Kaleidescape units, the common people could buy RealDVD en masse.

    The Windows software product shipped before we had the consumer electronics version ready to manufacture. It was sold by download, with an introductory price of $30.

    The discussion here on Slashdot was nearly unanimous: hah, what morons those RealNetworks guys must be. Why would anyone buy a product that encrypts DVD images and is useless as a ripper, when we can just get Handbrake and do whatever we want?

    Despite the /. scorn, the general consumer reaction to RealDVD was very positive, and sales were brisk.

    Sales lasted about a week.

    The MPAA picked a venue to sue RealNetworks, and asked the judge for an emergency injunction to shut down all sales of RealDVD. The judge (the same judge who ruled on the Napster case) granted the injunction.

    This time, it wasn't a breach-of-contract suit. The DMCA gave them a big hammer and they used it. The judge agreed: DMCA says no copying, you guys are copying, you lose. There was more to it, but it was the DMCA that really did in RealDVD.

    I wanted a RealDVD player in my living room. I believed in the product. It was not to be.

    So when I saw this news, I figured the MPAA had used the DMCA to shut down Kaleidescape. Imagine my surprise when I found that it wa

    • by cpu6502 (1960974)

      +1 informative.

      And it appears the original decision saying Kaleidoscape was "not infringing" was appealed by the DVD group to the Superior Court. Next it would go to the CA Appeals court, and then the CA Supreme Court. (Disclaimer: I'm not a lawyer.)

  • For home automation integrators to have the balls to tell their ultra rich clients that their devices are illegal because of rich assholes. Hand them the phone numbers of the MPAA executives and executives of the movie studios and tell them that these people are directly trying to steal their property, and becauset hey own a kalidescape they hate them personally.

    But unfortunately, none of them will. A class action lawsuit funded by the 1% will get the attention of the media cartels.

  • Shutdown the American company. Relocate somewhere else. Provide support to existing customers via internet. Continue to operate and wait for MPAA to file import injunctions, after they do, continue to sell to other slightly less insane counties. Keep all profit out of USA if they don't like it when you obey the law.
  • Windows Media Center?

    XBMC+DVD2XBOX?

    'cos if it does, I'll be upset. I just got everything working the way I like it.

HELP!!!! I'm being held prisoner in /usr/games/lib!

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