DVD-Copying System Sparks Controversy

By | December 10, 2004

A film industry group is suing a high-end consumer electronics company for enabling consumers to make illegal copies of DVDs.

The industry group the DVD Copy Control Association is saying its proprietary copy protection technology of movie DVDs, known as the Content Scramble System, is being misused in the Kaleidescope System. The new system makes permanent copies of movies onto the system’s hard drive thus allowing users to access their video library from anywhere in the home.

The $27,000 system even goes a step further, allowing the streaming of multiple movies to different locations in the home – effectively acting as a centralized movie library – which is something the DCCA isn’t very happy about.

The DCCA, a lobbying group comprised mainly of Hollywood film studies has filed a breach-of-contract lawsuit against Kaleidescape, seeking the judge’s order to halt production on the high end systems. Kaleidescape, for its part, has a license to use the CSS technology but “the company has built a system to do precisely what the license and CSS are designed to prevent – the wholesale copying of protected DVDs,” said Bill Coats, lead litigation counsel for the association.

Privately held Kaleidescape, based in Mountain View, vowed to fight the charges and countersued.

“We´ve scrupulously followed every one of their requirements,” said Michael Malcolm, Kaleidescape´s founder, chairman and chief executive, said Wednesday. “They seem to think their license prevents the loading of movies onto hard drives, but they´re simply wrong.”

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