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Kaleidescape loses latest stage of DVD ripping court case

Paddy Baker 14 March 2012
Kaleidescape loses latest stage of DVD ripping court case

Video server manufacturer Kaleidescape has suffered a setback in its long-running legal case with the DVD Copy Control Association (DVD CCA). Hon William J Monahan, Judge of the Superior Court of the State of California, has ruled in favour of the DVD CCA, which is suing Kaleidscape, saying that the company’s DVD-ripping servers do not comply with its licence terms.

This is the latest development in a long-running case, filed in December 2004. Kaleidescape has appealed against the decision, and says that this process “may take one to two years”.  As we have reported previously, while the case may appear to hinge on copyright law, it is actually a contractual dispute: at heart is the question of whether or not Kaleidescape fulfilled all the conditions of the licence agreement by which the DVD CCA controls the manufacturing of DVD players.

Michael Malcolm, Kaleidescape’s chairman, founder, and CEO, expressed his disappointment in the court’s decision. “We have always believed, and continue to believe, that our products comply with the CSS license agreement, and in court we will continue to fight the DVD CCA’s allegations to the contrary,” he said in a statement.

Steven M Zager, counsel to the DVD CCA,said: “The Court recognised what the DVD CCA has maintained all along: Kaleidescape agreed to a contract that mandated certain requirements with which devices must conform in order to comply with the Content Scramble System (CSS). When it developed and marketed its video server systems, it knowingly violated those requirements.”

Malcolm added: “For the past eight years, we’ve been baffled about why this lawsuit ever happened, since our products don’t encourage piracy, but do increase sales of movies. Maybe it’s because the large CE companies in Japan and the big computer companies in the USA, on the board of the DVD CCA, are afraid that Kaleidescape is building a better way to enjoy DVDs and Blu-ray Discs than they are. Imagine a world where Apple wasn’t allowed to build the iPod because Sony wanted a ‘level playing field’ for the Walkman.”

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