Court Rules DVD Burning Software Is Illegal 
Home Theater News DVD Hardware-Software News
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Friday, 20 February 2004

A federal court ruled today that software maker 321 Studios must cease making software that allows movie enthusiasts to copy DVD-Video discs. 321 Studios’ DVD copying software includes DVD Copy Plus and DVD X Copy, which would allow users to make “backup” copies of Hollywood’s best films from digital media.

This is a major victory for the MPAA who as an industry group fights for the protection of Hollywood studios’ copyrighted property. 321 Studios tested the limits of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act from the late 1990s, which protects copyright holders from illegal duplication of movies, music, books and TV shows along with other media based material.

The studios successfully argued that they lose billions of dollars in illegally duplicated copyrighted material. The question is; will consumers stop copying DVDs? The RIAA is suing people left and right who share copywritten music on the Internet. The MPAA might be forced to be the same kind of industry bad cop to enforce the new ruling.

Due to the ruling, video servers may become very popular within the AV component market. Companies like the ultra-expensive Kaleidescape make a dedicated video server that allows a user to import a DVD movie to a gigantic bank of hard drives inside the video server. Kaleidescape has worked with the MPAA to ensure them that their system has no ports to connect to computers or that their product runs on anything other than Kaleidescape’s own system. Well-heeled clients can then have instant access to their DVD movies with one touch control as well as having a backup of their physical disc. Some day Kaleidescape hopes to sell movies pre-loaded on their system.

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