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Hollywood Escalates "DVD Ripping" Case To International Incident (torrentfreak.com) 174

A group of Hollywood studios and technology partners have asked the U.S. Government to assist in solving a long-running court battle against the Antique based software company SlySoft. Despite an earlier conviction SlySoft continues to offer its DVD and BluRay ripping tools. To progress the matter, rightsholders have asked the U.S. to place Antigua on the Priority Watch List. "Circumvention through programs such as SlySoft's AnyDVD HD is a source for widespread, large-scale and commercial copyright infringement by users located in the United States, as well as Antigua & Barbuda, and many other countries," AACS writes (pdf).
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Hollywood Escalates "DVD Ripping" Case To International Incident

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  • Jurisdiction (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ZorinLynx ( 31751 ) on Sunday February 14, 2016 @10:48PM (#51508657) Homepage

    Slysoft is not in US jurisdiction, so it doesn't have to follow US law. Full stop.

    They should tell Hollywood to get bent. Piracy is going to happen regardless of what they do; this is money wasted anyway.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      I'm not in US jurisdiction either, and I have a right to format shifting for fair use purposes. The more Hollywood pulls crap like this, the less likely I am to send money their way in the future.

    • Re:Jurisdiction (Score:5, Insightful)

      by davester666 ( 731373 ) on Sunday February 14, 2016 @10:56PM (#51508681) Journal

      Antigua is permitting this to happen LEGALLY, because quite some time ago, the US lost a ruling by the WTO that they were improperly blocking betting and gambling services in Antigua. http://www.ip-watch.org/2014/04/26/antigua-questions-efficacy-of-wto-dispute-system-over-ip-related-case/ [ip-watch.org]

      The US does not wish to follow the WTO ruling, so Antigua is permitted to do this.

      Hollywood knows this.

      • by drewsup ( 990717 )

        Newegg need to start hiring out it law team, I would pay to see a showdown in court over this case.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Slysoft is not in US jurisdiction, so it doesn't have to follow US law. Full stop.

      They should tell Hollywood to get bent. Piracy is going to happen regardless of what they do; this is money wasted anyway.

      If you read the article, the AACS isn't asking Antigua to do anything this time after already trying and being ignored.

      Finding out what actually is being asked for is left as an exercise to the reader.

    • Re:Jurisdiction (Score:5, Informative)

      by ikejam ( 821818 ) on Sunday February 14, 2016 @10:59PM (#51508707)

      Yes and hence the ridiculous provisions in the TPP (as if a secret international treaty wasnt creepy enough)

      For example,

      "The TPP requires that signatories hold civilly liable any person who “circumvents without authority any effective technological measure that controls access to a protected work,”[115] or otherwise makes available devices or products or service that are intended to circumvent[116] or have only limited commercial purpose other than to circumvent[117] or are primarily designed to circumvent.[118] There is no requirement that the infringing party be aware of their infringement in order to be held civilly liable (no knowledge requirement). The TPP requires that signatories provide for criminal penalties for persons who engage in these activities and are found “to have engaged willfully and for purposes of commercial advantage or private financial gain.”[119]

      From wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

      It's signed but not yet ratified. It's only 16 countries or so not the whole world.

      Yet.

      • "The TPP requires that signatories...." Antiqua is not one of the signatory countries, so TPP is little more than TP to them. They aren't required to do jack shit.

      • Gentlemen, do my eyes deceive me, or does that Slashdot comment contain properly-rendered Unicode characters?

    • They have been telling Hollywood to get bent, and venue shopped their base of operations to be able to do that.

      Hollywood is trying to do what they can through international legal maneuvering. It should be a different kind of entertaining to see how this turns out.

    • Re:Jurisdiction (Score:5, Informative)

      by Dutch Gun ( 899105 ) on Sunday February 14, 2016 @11:23PM (#51508801)

      Personally, I've never actually used my copy of AnyDVD to pirate anything. I've used it to rip my legally purchased copies of DVDs and Blurays to my media server. I'm not doing anything wrong by using the content I bought and paid for how I wish. I'm sure they'd likely disagree, but they can piss off.

      Nowadays, I actually use streaming services more often than not, since they're convenient and reasonably priced. Do you know what makes me want to actually switch to pirated content instead?

      1) Insane prices for watching previous seasons of a show (either rentals or purchase), when Hulu is only showing the latest season.
      2) The bright, distracting network logo Hulu pastes in the corner of the picture for the entire duration of the show.

      Can you imagine going to a movie theater and being subjected to an image of the movie company's logo in the corner of the screen for the duration of the show? Why does anyone believe this is acceptable for television? When the pirated content is superior to the paid-for content, that's not a good sign.

      • by Ichijo ( 607641 )

        Can you imagine going to a movie theater and being subjected to an image of the movie company's logo in the corner of the screen for the duration of the show? Why does anyone believe this is acceptable for television?

        Because I notice the pseudo-watermark logo for only a second or so, then my brain puts a blind spot there, the same as it does to the black bars when watching a 2.25:1 movie on a 16:9 screen. Do you find the television network's watermark distracting?

        • It's pretty easy to block out the absence of something - black bars don't bother me. Keep in mind that many of these images I've seen are pretty bright. I probably wouldn't mind so much if it was more like an actual watermark (grey, translucent, and unobtrusive) which typically don't bother me and not a fully opaque logo. Yes, I eventually manage to block them out as well after a few minutes, but as soon as the screen darkens, my eye is immediately drawn to it again.

          It's like a small grain of sand in you

          • Re:Jurisdiction (Score:5, Insightful)

            by bigfinger76 ( 2923613 ) on Monday February 15, 2016 @01:57AM (#51509293)
            Animated 'corner ads' have been creeping in for the last few years. They certainly are distracting, and consuming more screen real estate as time goes by.
            • Still, animated ones are better than still ones. I know a number of plasma TV owners who have permanently had the still ones burned into their screens. Similarly, there's a podcaster I listen to who had the HUD for Destiny burned into his plasma TV, since it apparently didn't move around enough either.

              Ideally, they wouldn't do it at all, but if they're going to do it, make it a subtle animation, if only to prevent burn-in.

              • Sorry for your friends' losses, but the animated ones are far worse - some of them even have sound!
              • Well, years ago they weren't persistent. They show the logo for a few seconds or a minute or so every few minutes, or after an ad break. I guess to remind you what channel you're watching or something like that. Then at some point they must have decided that wasn't good enough and just left the up all the time. Used to annoy me a lot too, back when I actually watched much television.

          • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

            Logos and watermarks are a real problem for people with plasma screens, because they can cause burn in. Imagine having some shitty channel's shitty logo permanently burned in to your TV because you forgot to turn it off one time. That's what us plasma owners have to live with for deep blacks and colour rendition far beyond what the best LCDs can offer.

      • Re:Jurisdiction (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 15, 2016 @12:46AM (#51509105)

        I use AnyDVD because Hollywood insists upon putting region coding on all the DVDs. I have DVDs in German, Mandarin and English and that would require 3 different DVD drives as Hollywood insists upon region coding things so that one drive won't support all of them.

        It's ridiculous, but there you go.

        • Region free or unlockable players have been around since the late 90's. How can you not know this?
          • by robbak ( 775424 )
            Because, often, they don't work. The media corporations have been very creative in the ways they break the DVD standard to make region-free players fail to play the movie. This should mean that the corporations lose their license to implement the DVD patents, but of course they see no penalty.
          • by jedidiah ( 1196 )

            > Region free or unlockable players have been around since the late 90's. How can you not know this?

            I first started using HTPCs because my last region free player wasn't all it was cracked up to be. It advertised features it didn't actually have.

            On the other hand, I am in full control of my viewing experience with an HTPC because I'm the one that's building it. I can also impose the same interface on all of my players and make sure that interface stays the same over time.

            I also never have to worry about

      • Personally, I've never actually used my copy of AnyDVD to pirate anything. I've used it to rip my legally purchased copies of DVDs and Blurays to my media server

        Rip? I use it to PLAY BluRays. It's cheaper to have a recurring subscription to AnyDVD than it is to buy a new copy of PowerDVD every year when they decide to release new versions and stop issuing new keys to the old one.

      • by houghi ( 78078 )

        I've used it to rip my legally purchased copies of DVDs and Blurays to my media server. I'm not doing anything wrong by using the content I bought and paid for how I wish.

        qnd then

        I'm sure they'd likely disagree, but they can piss of

        Depending on what the disc is and where you live this might or might not be legal, regardless of the fact if it will be moral or not.

        e.g. in Belgium this would probably be illegal, but the court will not waste time on it and it then becomes illegal, but not punishable, like a law

      • by LWATCDR ( 28044 )

        "I've used it to rip my legally purchased copies of DVDs and Blurays to my media server. I'm not doing anything wrong by using the content I bought and paid for how I wish."
        Actually it is illegal in the US at least.
        "I'm sure they'd likely disagree"
        They do.
        ", but they can piss off."
        And they really should.

      • by steveg ( 55825 )

        You're not doing anything wrong. You *are* doing something illegal.

        Same as I do when I rip my DVDs to the media server using HandBrake.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      I also want to make backup copies of the DVDs I purchase and remove the fluff so I can pop in the DVD and the movie starts playing right away and me and my 4yr old don't have to wait 5 minutes to get to the fucking menu. It's a tool every parent should have. Is Sony or Disney going to replace the DVD my 4yr old destroys? If the answer is no then Fuck off you assholes. I have a right to not have to purchase Snow White 10 different times.

      • by dwywit ( 1109409 )

        I've wondered about that - if you're only allowed to own the physical media, but licence the content, then it follows that faulty/broken media should be replaced with a 1/x priced copy, as long as you hand over the faulty/broken disc.

        It's only fair - if I've licenced the content, then you should exchange a faulty or damaged disc for the price of the disc ONLY, and not the content.

    • > Slysoft is not in US jurisdiction, so it doesn't have to follow US law. Full stop.

      Unfortunately the government will use the excuse that if a business engages in commerce in the US then that entity is also obligated to follow US commerce law.

      Even if they aren't selling any physical good the US will try to claim jurisdiction electronically.

      Case in point, look what happened to the excellent Lik Sang [wikipedia.org]

    • Agreed. I simply us it to put the optical disk on a network storage array so I can play a movie from any room that I am in. DVDs and Blueray disks are a pain. The encryption is there to force issues and make you more likely to buy the disk rather than copy it. Hello assholes, I bought the fuckin thing, gonna watch it how I want and in the most convenient way too. Keep up the crap and I will start ripping the Netflix disks I get daily...
  • against the Antique based software company SlySoft

    How on earth did Antigua become Antique? Just bad use of spell check?

  • diction.

    Slysoft should just tell the Hollywood thugs to get bent.

    Also: let's see some quality output instead of this suing from the hip bullshit, and we'll talk.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 14, 2016 @11:08PM (#51508747)

    Actually, the Hollywood studios don't even have the law on their side in this case.
    What Slysoft is doing is actually legal under WTO rules because the US was found
    to be in violation regarding offshore internet gambling. The WTO ruled that Antigua and
    Barbuda are legally entitled to ignore US copyright (to the value of the judgement) as a
    result. What the US government has been doing in regard to this is disgusting frankly.
    They have threatened to retaliate against Antigua and Barbuda should they choose to
    actively exercise this right, even though the ruling went against them. Funny how when
    the ruling goes for the US the other country is obligated to follow it, but when it goes
    against them it doesnt. Arrogant doesnt begin to describe this behaviour.

    https://www.wto.org/english/tratop_e/dispu_e/cases_e/ds285_e.htm

    • And yet, according to the original article, the operator of Slysoft was found guilty of copyright violation under Antiguan law and got fined all of $30,000. It's just that he's appealed, and the appeal has yet to be tried. (Though even if he lost, I imagine that $30,000 would represent pocket change to Slysoft.)

      Personally, I hope that Hollywood continues to be stymied. I paid $100 for a lifetime sub to AnyDVD HD. :)

  • Glorious (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Todd Knarr ( 15451 ) on Sunday February 14, 2016 @11:09PM (#51508751) Homepage

    @boggle. I use that software a lot simply to get rid of the forced previews and the like so I can sit down to watch a movie and watch the bloody movie, which ought to tell the MPAA and company something right there. The biggest advocate of piracy right now is the MPAA itself, as they constantly and vocally equate simply watching a movie you've purchased legally with piracy.

  • Unless something changed, didn't Antigua and Barbados get the legal right from the WTO to ignore US copyrights due to the US's ban on internet gambling? http://blog.legalsolutions.tho... [thomsonreuters.com]
  • The real crime is government providing businesses with protections such as copyright or patent laws that are government provided monopolies and are both bad business and bad ethics.

  • by Ritz_Just_Ritz ( 883997 ) on Monday February 15, 2016 @12:20AM (#51509019)

    The various recording studios just don't get it. If I'm going to shell out $$$ for a movie, I'm going to consume it in the format that suits me. I also don't want to be force fed adverts for other BS they'd like to sell me. Nor do I want to sit through the obligatory, "you'll go to hell if you copy this" FBI nuisance screens and other nonsense that you cannot skip on the disc before watching the content that I paid for. I don't feel the least bit guilty about ripping a disc solely to remove adverts/warnings and shift it to whatever medium I want to use to watch it.

    All that said, I find myself increasingly reluctant to even bother. The content quality is trending down and I don't have the time I once did to jump through the hoops. Their loss.

  • Oh, Thanks (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    If they didn't bring this case up, I would have never known about this software.

    Great publicity job Hollywood.

    • by eWarz ( 610883 )
      MakeMKV is better. I rip all my DVDs and Blurays to my nas, then stream them to my Raspberry Pi running OpenElec with WMC remote. Very nice setup.
  • I used to use Anysoft's software to rip DVDs (and the occassional BluRay).

    Then I got to realized that it's better to keep my copies on the hard drive rather than burn a second disc for safety. Now I use makemkv to rip the disc and handbrake to compress to a reasonable size.

    The plus is that with a small netbook computer attached to the TV I have access to my whole video library over wifi.

    • Do they handle commercial blu rays well enough? I've got one I wanted to copy and I tried the Slysoft demo but all it would tell me is that it could not look up the decryption tables (or some such thing) while in demo mode.

      So I could not really test it to see if it would work for what I wanted to do without first paying for it, but I didn't want to pay for it if it could not do what I needed. Kind of a paradox.

  • "the Antique based software company SlySoft"

    Yeah, OK, DVDs are practically antiques by now, but I'm pretty sure that's not a state. Antigua I assume?

  • by RubberDogBone ( 851604 ) on Monday February 15, 2016 @10:29AM (#51510821)

    Deadpool just delivered a whole pile of new box office records and around $150 million in ticket sales.

    The way to defeat piracy is to make movies, like this one, which are so good, people will happily pay to go see them. I know, the idea of people happily paying to go see a movie is a concept Hollywood hasn't understood much. But now they are looking at a huge pile of money, which of course will all end up as losses thanks to Hollywood accounting, but making good movies people want to see is how you fight piracy. Hollywood needs to wake the hell up and learn from this.

  • Still trying to figure out what "antique based software" is.

    I'd been wondering how AnyDVD managed to exist in the current "tools are evil" environment. For the owners, it's sort of like a double-bonus: 1) have to live in the Caribbean, 2) get to live in the Caribbean. Reminds me of the guy who sold C-band satellite receivers that did the job without the subscriber cards who was chased away to the Bahamas. Poor thing.

  • Stop making your product worse and then getting mad when we don't play ball. Did you learn nothing from riaa..

    HDCP cords, dvds with bricking, etc.

    THE FUTURE IS NOW, AND IT IS DIGITAL.

    I want to buy your product. I don't want to keep 100 dvds around. I want them all on a thumb drive. DEAL WITH IT.

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