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DRM The Courts

Kaleidescape Settles With DVD CCA But No Victory For DRM 76

An anonymous reader writes "10 years ago the copyright police at the DVD CCA sued Kaleidescape for creating movie servers that (allegedly in breach of contract) allowed customers to copy their DVDs onto a hard drive. Yesterday, a California court announced the was voluntarily dismissed. '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. The legal imbroglio with the DVD CCA has forced Kaleidescape to impose burdens on its customers and its engineers while offshore companies like AnyDVD and the U.S. manufacturers that employ their legally untouchable software proceed with impunity.' Is there a broader implication for DRM? Not really."
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Kaleidescape Settles With DVD CCA But No Victory For DRM

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  • Yet more proof (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Cryacin ( 657549 ) on Wednesday May 21, 2014 @12:14AM (#47053723)
    That when it comes to business in the US, it's easier to beg for forgiveness than ask for permission. And if that doesn't work, offshore it!
  • DRM (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Travis Mansbridge ( 830557 ) on Wednesday May 21, 2014 @12:34AM (#47053817)
    Has DRM ever worked? One instance? I've never heard of it lasting longer than a few days.
  • Re:Yet more proof (Score:3, Insightful)

    by rhodium_mir ( 2876919 ) on Wednesday May 21, 2014 @04:09AM (#47054327)

    Government existing is only part of the problem. The other part of the problem is the simply that anything exists at all. Existence makes us all slaves to reality... or at least, most of us. Reality must not, and is not authorized to, exist. I can't wait for reality to crumble apart so I can watch all the takers who have been leaching off a reality they didn't even create finally be subjected to the nonexistence they so richly deserve.

  • Re:DRM (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Wednesday May 21, 2014 @06:41AM (#47054767) Journal

    That depends on what you think the goal of DRM is. Has DRM prevented unauthorised copying of DVDs? No. Has it allowed the industry to retain control of the playback and stifle potentially disruptive technologies? Absolutely! Compare DVDs to CDs for this. Any computer in the last 10 years or so comes with a program that will let you put in a CD, rip it, automatically name the tracks, share them with anyone in your house, and sync them with your portable music player or mobile phone. This isn't even a one-click operation on a lot of systems: it happens automatically as soon as you insert the disc.

    Now, compare that with DVDs. The DVD software that ships on commercial operating systems doesn't even allow you to skip the adverts. Doing so would violate the DVD Consortium license and playing DVDs without a license involves breaking CSS, which is covered under the DMCA and similar laws. About 10 years ago, I had an iPod with a 20GB hard disk. A ripped DVD could be compressed to about 600MB - less if you were willing to lose a bit more quality. Portable DVD players were starting to become cheap and so all of the technology existed for portable media players capable of storing 20-30 films, with an easy application for ripping DVDs and putting them on the player. Lots of people who spend a lot of time on planes or trains would have loved to buy them, but they didn't exist. In fact, they still don't exist as consumer devices.

    So, looking back over the past decade, it's obvious that DRM has been a massive success. Your mistake is thinking that it's intended to stop copying, rather than stopping the emergence of products that would prove disruptive to the media industry. If they'd managed it earlier, there'd have been no iPod, no VHS, no Walkman.

  • Re:DRM (Score:4, Insightful)

    by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Wednesday May 21, 2014 @08:24AM (#47055105) Journal

    I have never owned a dvd player that honoured the no-skip directives on dvds

    Try looking at the big-name brands sometime. You've been able to get cheap Chinese players for a long time that don't honour them, but even something like Apple's DVD Player app honour them. More recent computer DVD drives enforce the region coding in hardware, so its difficult to bypass entirely in software.

    As for portable media players (pmps), where the hell have you been living if you don't think they exist as consumer devices?

    You missed the point. They exist now, but show me one mainstream player that comes with a trivial UI for ripping DVDs. The movie industry only allowed them once they'd set up deals with DRM'd download suppliers like the iTunes store that allow them to sell you another copy of the same movie if you want to watch it on a mobile device. There are programs (Handbrake, for example) that can rip DVDs and transcode them, but this functionality is not integrated into programs used by non-geeks.

    No scheme is perfect, and they know that there will be some people who can get around it. The point is to prevent these things from becoming mass market consumer devices.

    The flash based players have been around for years and now mostly come from China with software to rip dvds, online videos and any other videos that you have to copy to the device.

    Really? I own a couple of tablets, but I've never seen one bundled with DVD ripping software. When I talk to non-geeks, most of them are still under the impression that ripping DVDs is something that's really hard. Can you point to a single player that:

    • Comes with software (with a simple UI) for ripping DVDs and playing them on the device
    • Is available in mainstream consumer electronics stores

Thufir's a Harkonnen now.