[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

[FYI] (Fwd) FC: Movie studios file suit to get rid of DVD copying pr

------- Forwarded message follows -------
Date sent:      	Sat, 15 Jan 2000 11:19:13 -0500
To:             	politech@vorlon.mit.edu
From:           	Declan McCullagh <declan@well.com>
Subject:        	FC: Movie studios file suit to get rid of DVD copying program
Send reply to:  	declan@well.com


[I'm only now reading the briefs 
(http://www.mpaa.org/dvd/New%20York%20Claim.htm) in this latest suit,
but it seems to me that most, if not all, of the gnashing and moaning
about this and the previous case misses the point. Yes, yes, the film
studios are in the wrong. Yes, it should generally be legal to
reverse-engineer. But there has been unfortunately little discussion
about how we've arrived in such a situation, where the entertainment
industry can buy enough votes in Congress to pass an unjust law like
17 U.S.C. § 1201, the one being used to shut down these web sites. If
you want to fix things, mounting a legal defense and condemning the
MPAA isn't enough: You're just attacking the symptom. MPAA is simply
acting rationally based on the way Washington currently works. Fixing
the cause of the problem means diluting the tremendous influence
special interest groups presently enjoy. --Declan]


From: "Felipe Rodriquez" <felipe@xs4all.nl>
To: <declan@well.com>
Date: Sat, 15 Jan 2000 23:33:58 +1100

 > http://www.wired.com/news/politics/0,1283,33680,00.html
 > The seven largest US movie studios filed their own lawsuits Friday
 to > prevent several Internet sites from distributing a program that
 > could allow > copying of DVD movies. > > The lawsuits, filed in
 federal courts in New York and > Connecticut, followed > a broader
 lawsuit filed last month in state court in California by a DVD >
 equipment manufacturers group. > > At issue is a program called
 DeCSS, written by a Norwegian > programmer, that > allows users to
 bypass the encryption scheme used on DVDs to prevent > unauthorized
 copying. > > But many Internet users and programmers say the software
 had a > simpler, less > insidious goal. They said the program was
 needed to allow people to watch > DVD movies on computers running the
 Linux operating system. > > The studios argued that by allowing
 potential illegal copying, the program > violated US copyright law.
 They asked the courts to prohibit four people > from distributing the
 program on their Web sites. > > A spokesman for the Motion Picture
 Association of America, the studios' > lobbying group, said the Web
 sites involved were dvd-copy.com, > krackdown.com > and ct2600.com.
 Dozens of other Web sites have also carried either the > program or
 source code instructions showing how to write the program. > > "This
 is a case of theft," said Jack Valenti, president of the >
 association. > "The posting of the de-encryption formula is no
 different from making and > then distributing unauthorized keys to a
 department store." > > The people who posted the code said they had
 done nothing wrong, insisting > that the program was meant to allow
 viewing of DVD movies under Linux. > > "I don't have illegal copies
 of movies on my site," said Shawn > Reimerdes, a > computer
 programmer who maintains the dvd-copy.com Web site. "Just posting >
 these files shouldn't be illegal." > > Internet advocacy groups have
 also opposed the lawsuits, arguing that the > posting of computer
 codes on a Web site is a form of speech > protected by the > First
 Amendment. > > "This is definitely an infringement on freedom of
 speech," said Shari > Steele, director of legal services at the
 Electronic Frontier > Foundation, a > San Francisco-based
 cyber-rights advocacy group. "What has been done was > totally legal.
 Posting of the program is legal and there are no pirated > movies
 here." > > Chris DiBona, who promotes Linux use for VA Linux Systems,
 said > the industry > had refused to help create a program to play
 DVDs under Linux. > > "The whole reason this happened is because the
 movie industry > itself didn't > support Linux," DiBona said. "They
 thought they could keep this a secret. > They failed." > > The
 lawsuit relied on the 1998 Millennium Digital Copyright Act, which >
 outlawed the distribution of products designed to crack copyright >
 protection > schemes. > > "If you can't protect that which you own,
 then you don't own anything," > MPAA's Valenti said. > > In the
 California case, the court last month turned down the industry's >
 request for a temporary restraining order against a much wider array
 of > defendants, many of whom had only provided a link on their Web
 page to a > page containing the actual program. A hearing is
 scheduled for next week. > > Friday's lawsuits were filed by Buena
 Vista Pictures, a unit of > Walt Disney, > Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer,
 Paramount Pictures, a unit of Viacom, Sony's Sony > Pictures
 Entertainment, News Corp.'s Twentieth Century Fox Film, Universal >
 Studios, a unit of Seagram, and Warner Bros., a unit of Time Warner.
 > > >

---- POLITECH -- the moderated mailing list of politics and technology
To subscribe: send a message to majordomo@vorlon.mit.edu with this
text: subscribe politech More information is at
------- End of forwarded message -------