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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!
    • by mysidia ( 191772 )

      Offshore companies like AnyDVD are not untouchable. It's just a question of how long it takes various parties to get around to going through the extra effort of committing resources to 'touch' them.

      And now that this company has been mentioned by naw in a Slashdot article, they are now a bigger target.

  • 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.
    • The PS3 DRM took quite a while to break. Arguably because Sony allowed linux to be installed. Once they disabled that feature all hell broke loose.
    • Ubisofts you can't play your offline single player game unless it's in constant online contact with the mothership drm wasn't broken, for about a month I think.
    • 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.

      • by davek ( 18465 )

        Excellent post. Right on.

        DRM has been a huge success in accomplishing what it was designed to do: NOT prevent piracy, but rather retard development, stifle innovation and new businesses and business models, and keep control of high-demand consumer products in the hands of a few individuals with infintely deep pockets.

    • Cinavia. Except its effect is rather bizarre. While it doesn't prevent you from "making copies", it prevents you from playing audio of said copies on a PS3 and selected Blu-Ray players. Guess it didn't help increase Blu-Ray disk sales, but it surely helped decrease PS3 and Blu-Ray player sales.
    • Has DRM ever worked? One instance? I've never heard of it lasting longer than a few days.

      Yes it has. Yes it does . Examples:
      1) BluRay DRM took years to crack. Even the anti-DRM geniuses were baffled by it and especially the BD+ stuff. If I remember correctly it basically took someone to dump computer memory while playback was going on to get cracking working. Some of the experts were concerned in the early days that BD+ might not ever be cracked.
      2) Cinavia is an audio watermark used on some BluRay discs. It can also be used on DVDs although the DVD specification does not require that

    • by Minwee ( 522556 )
      You're thinking like an engineer and misunderstand what DRM is for. It just kept Kaleidescape in court for a lot longer than a few days and that was a big success.
    • Has DRM ever worked? One instance? I've never heard of it lasting longer than a few days.

      Microsoft .DVRMS files saved on Windows Media Center devices with PlayReady.

  • by countach ( 534280 ) on Wednesday May 21, 2014 @12:39AM (#47053827)

    So... it took 10 years for the legal system to get to this point, and even now its only over because someone gave up, not because we had judgement? Amazing.

    • by SuricouRaven ( 1897204 ) on Wednesday May 21, 2014 @02:32AM (#47054129)

      It happens a lot when both sides have the funds to draw things out, or when politics get involved. The civil action between Microsoft and Novel over Windows 95 only concluded this year, and the Mount Soledad cross fiasco has been going on since 1989.

      The Mount Soledad case is a good example of how a case can be endlessly stalled - it's been going on so long because there is a political involvement too, which means the state and federal congress have both had to intervene. They can't overrule the constitution which poses the real issue, but they were able to use tricks like transfering ownership of the property (Three times!) in order to invalidate the case or change jurisdiction and force everyone to start over. Right now it's being delayed by inaction: The state lost the last ruling, but managed to get an stay that delays the need to implement the ruling until after they have appealed it once more - and have been writing the document to file that appeal for the last five months. So long as the paperwork isn't submitted, the case cannot progress.

  • Maybe they are right, because they are not circumventing DRM.

    But they are wrong with the idea of DRM. If you copy a DVD to harddisk with intact DRM and then play it, you can copy the harddisk and play the copy, too. So its circumventing DRM while keeping the DRM(-System) intact.

  • " Is there a broader implication for DRM? Not really."

    But is it going to stop them from parading it as such? Hell no.

Q: How many IBM CPU's does it take to execute a job? A: Four; three to hold it down, and one to rip its head off.