AfterDawn: Tech news

Judge: 321 Studios must stop selling DVD X Copy

Written by Petteri Pyyny (Google+) @ 20 Feb 2004 14:39 User comments (41)

Judge: 321 Studios must stop selling DVD X Copy After eight months of waiting, San Fransisco federal judge Susan Illston delivered her ruling on high-profile case where Hollywood studios have sued an American company, 321 Studios, that develops tools that allow breaking the copy protection mechanisms found on DVD movie discs.
Judge ruled against 321 Studios' arguments that DVD rippers, as the copy-protection cracking tools are called, help people to use their legal right to backup movies that they own. She said that the copyright law, namely the DMCA legislation, makes it clearly illegal to sell or distribute tools in the United States that allow breaking technical copy protection mechanisms.

"It is the technology itself at issue, not the uses to which the copyrighted material may be put," she wrote. "Legal downstream use of the copyrighted material by customers is not a defense to the software manufacturer's violation of the provisions (of copyright law)."

The ruled that 321 Studios has to stop selling the software, DVD X Copy, within seven days in the United States. Company has the choice of replacing the product with a similar tool that doesn't include the ripper, the part that allows breaking the copy protection mechanism called CSS.

321 Studios immediately announced that they would ask for an emergency stay from courts and would appeal the ruling as well. Company president, Robert Moore said "We can't just lay down for this. It is too important for the consumer; it is far too important to the evolution of our culture...We think the final battle will be fought at the Supreme Court or at the congressional level."

Obviously, the MPAA praised the ruling stating that the ruling "...sends a clear message that it is essential for corporations to protect copyrighted works while facilitating the enjoyment of entertainment offerings through new digital technologies."

However, it is likely that the ruling doesn't really change anything at all even if 321 Studios don't get the emergency stay they're asking, as there are free tools like DVD43 that replace the ripper part of the DVD X Copy software smoothly -- and also world is already almost over-saturated with wide variety of free and commercial DVD rippers.

More information:

News.com
DVD X Copy forums

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41 user comments

120.2.2004 15:35

This is no surprise. It's no big secret who's side the courts and lawmakers are generally on. Hollywood has been flipping the public the bird since the VCR, totally ignoring fair use doctrine. As long as the money keeps coming in they will keep jamming whatever crap movies, bogus copyright legislation, & DRM infected "content" they feel like down our throats. Hey, collectively we're willing to pay for this kind of treatment, right?

220.2.2004 15:49

Quote>"it is likely that the ruling doesn't really change anything at all" That may be true in the short term but the precedent has been set for future court cases. This is about consumer rights, not a piece of software. It validates some of the most damaging parts of the DMCA shifting virtually all control of digital media over to the content "owners". It's not over yet, but it's a big shitty piece of bad news for the public. Okay, I'll shut up now.

320.2.2004 16:10

I think we can see a clear pattern forming here. Sue the commerical products which people use for perfect legit reasons first, and sue the freeware software later. But of course, this won't change ANYTHING for me :)

420.2.2004 16:40
pcshateme
Inactive

some of you already know my views on this from my many other "colorful" posts- so im not going to beat the dead horse here. but i will say this- im sick of this bullshit- they relize that they'll never win so they just try to fuck everything up as much as they can. i think its unfair to do this to 321 and the consumers- but in the end it wont do shit because alot of ppl already have it and if you dont just get DVD Shrink- its free and just as cool and easy as x copy or any of the other 8,000 programs like Nero recode- DVD2One- and many many more.

520.2.2004 18:03

Does the Judge actually think the American people cares about her ruling? These are the kind of rulings that makes us actually WANT to break the law. Hey MPAA...this does nothing but fuel the flame. It's US vs Them. The american people vs the Evil Empire.

620.2.2004 18:14
andmerr
Inactive

so how much $$$$$ do you reckon it cost them to get a judge to give such a ludicrus ruling

721.2.2004 6:36

As a consumer, when I buy software,the manufacturer gives me the keys to unlock the software once I validate that I'm the legal owner. If I buy a dvd movie, shouldn't I be given the keys to unlock that dvd(CSS) to use as I see fit?(make back-up copies)

821.2.2004 9:23

Years back when I spent hundreds (maybe thousands over time) easily on those BETA and then VHS tapes. Hell, a lot of them don't even play anymore. Now when I bought software over the years, I always had the option to "Upgrade" to the latest version. Do the jerks in Hollywood offer me an upgrade path? How about "we'll give you $10 off a DVD when you yurn in the old VHS version". Hell no... they want me to spend $25 on rereleased oldies from the 50's! If they don't want to play fair, why should we!?

921.2.2004 11:15

It kind of seems to me that what the judge was saying that it is perfectly legal for you to make back up copies for yourself but we will make sure that you don't have any tools to actually do it with. Now that they have eliminated 321studios they will probably sue this forum and shut it down as a purveyor of illegial software and information which would help the consumer make illegial copies. I bought DVD X COPY and registered it. I guess the next step will be to get the names and addresses of all purchasers of 321 Studios products and raid there homes.

1021.2.2004 11:40
Rodgers
Inactive

San Francisco sure is a strange place, you can violate the law by participating in a same sex marriage ceremony, but don't try playing with any of the media material. How absurd! Judges have to be removed who make the law, instead of interpreting the law. In many cases, instead of being lifetime positions, they need some checks and balances by some overseeing authority to keep them on track. These Judges are way out of control and soon something will be done about it, in my opinion. Best to All! Rodgers

1121.2.2004 15:54

Okay, people may not agree with me on this but.... I'm glad that 321studios/DVDXCOPY is getting the Boot. After DVDXCOPY released version 2.5 of XPRESS it seems that the company's standards and ethics of producing a good product went downhill. I used to get the free updates, only to make the program not work, or work in certain situations. If you head over to the 321studios forum, you will see literally THOUSANDS of complaints ranging from spyware to cost increases to the inability of the program to work properly. I agree with the ability to be able to back up DVDS/CDS/GAME DISKS because I have little brothers who will watch a movie and when they are done with it, the movie has scratches. I just don't like DVDXCOPY, I think it's a crappy ass manafacturer with bad support, and DVDSHRINK works well if not better.

1221.2.2004 15:57

Judges from California are notoriously retarded and should be dragged out and shot.

1321.2.2004 16:07
pcshateme
Inactive

no offence if you are from CA- but i think the majority of em are all retards!

1421.2.2004 16:23

I agree that 321studios produces a poor product especially since I haven't been able to get mine to work yet after spending $119.00 on DVD X COPY PLATINUM. Unfortunately, this is not the way I wanted them eliminated. They had some money to fight the Movie Industry. Now, that they are effectively put out of business, the MPAA can start issueing cease and desist orders to places like afterdawn.com.

1521.2.2004 23:57

fishhead: Who would you then choose to defend fiar use rights? Maybe the freeware developers... no... hold on.. they don't got money required to fight this type of case in court. As much as you or somone else might dislike 321's products, I think they deserve a huge credit for fighting this fight through, knowing that it will most likely cost them millions, if not tens of millions of dollars in legal fees if the case gets dragged all the way to the Supreme Court. Which is exactly everybody hopes that the case will head to, because it would finally set the rules for the playground, whether they're good ones or bad ones as the current situation where DMCA has never been tested in front of Supreme Court is ridiculous. pa104inf: Luckily all the major DVD ripping sites are located outside States, including ours which is located in Finland/European Union :-)

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 21 Feb 2004 @ 23:59

Petteri Pyyny (pyyny@twitter)
Webmaster
http://AfterDawn.com/

1622.2.2004 0:41
michoel46
Inactive

I,Have used dvdxcopy since it came on the market,and have bought almost every product they offer,with no problems what-so ever that I could not fix on my own!people that bad mouth dvdxcopy i.e.321 studios are the kind of individuals who blame the software for thier own failings and lack of expertease.If 321 was to go out of business,one of the early pioneers of home DVD duplication will be lost...RABBI M.D.Holland

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 22 Feb 2004 @ 0:50

1722.2.2004 2:32

dRD Quote { Luckily all the major DVD ripping sites are located outside States, including ours which is located in Finland/European Union :-) } Aren't We in the same Pot, I know that our UK government has signed up to the New European Directive.. Making it illegal even to discuss ways of copying (backing up), On top of that, we have never had the right to make back ups anyway... Not that we will ever take notice, we do what we have to do... :)

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 22 Feb 2004 @ 2:34

1822.2.2004 2:39

Lawman: The EUCD (European Union Copyright Directive) makes it illegal to distribute, sell or advertise tools or devices that allow circumventing technical copy protection mechanisms, so yes, you're sorta right. But, it is upto each member country of EU to decide how they implement such measures to their legislation. Germany took the crazy route and outlawed everything that even remotely links to circumvention of copy protection mechanisms, including discussing and guiding such process. UK is craziest of all western countries, in the UK -- EVEN BEFORE EUCD -- legislation doesn't recognize "fair use" rights at all. I.e. copying your non-copy protected CD to your MP3s to use in your digital audio player is illegal, downloading music from P2P networks is illegal and backing up your DVDs is illegal as well. Finland hasn't bothered implementing the EUCD yet to the legislation, so for the time being, it is perfectly legal to distribute DeCSS-capable tools in Finland. And via EFFi (Electronic Frontier Finland -- http://www.effi.org/), guys are trying to pressure parliament to implement the legislation as liberally as possible, hopefully allowing freeware DeCSS tools to exist and to allow distributing such tools for research purposes, etc.


Petteri Pyyny (pyyny@twitter)
Webmaster
http://AfterDawn.com/

1922.2.2004 3:20

dRD.. Looks like we will all have to Claim Asylum, In Finland then, hows your Benefits System :)

2022.2.2004 3:23

Not a good idea, upto 59% income taxation :-) Better yet, need to find an asylum in country that doesn't belong to USA or EU.. Switzerland, maybe?


Petteri Pyyny (pyyny@twitter)
Webmaster
http://AfterDawn.com/

2122.2.2004 4:47
joski
Inactive

I hope 321 is deleting registered owners list before they ask for it. dont need those people coming after me

2222.2.2004 5:28

joski: AFAIK, the issue is not about the legality to USE such products, the issue is about the legality to distribute or sell such products. At least in Europe, the EUCD doesn't make it illegal (although some EU member states have their own little additions to it) to USE copy protection circumvention tools, but it outlaws distributing -- what our site does -- and selling -- what 321 does -- such products.

2322.2.2004 5:39

Does this ruling mean get your copy now before it's too late?


edgeX

2422.2.2004 6:02
taclark
Inactive

I think the Judge was reasonable and had no other choice. She was faced with two laws that contradicted each other. To favor one, would invalidate the other. She actually supported both fair use and copy protection. {Unfortunately, fair use can hardly survive if copy protection continues to be endorsed.) At the Judge's level, what else could she do? What's encouraging to me is how long it took for her to come to a decision. I believe it indicates how difficult the issue is. Of course we all hope that in the end (the Supreme Court) fair use will be favored over the DCMA, although it seems unlikely. Relatively few people care or are even aware of their fair use rights. When I learned about Decrypter and Shrink, I felt scammed by 321 Studios. But later, I felt satisfied that I had financially contributed to their legal battle which is all about defending our rights. We should be glad for that.


If you think education is expensive, try ignorance. Help! Please educate me.

2522.2.2004 7:46
Hellion
Inactive

Excuse my ignorance, but I read on the Yahoo news page that the company (321Studios) claimed the DMCA allowed DVD copying if the copies were designed for the sole use of the owners. Does the DMCA actually have language that allows this? If that is the case then it seems like you could sue the studios for encrypting the DVDs and trying to circumvent the end users rights. Acutally, It all seems kind of like a moot point to me as anyone can download DVD Shrink and DVD Decrypter for free.

2622.2.2004 8:05
pcshateme
Inactive

i commend 321 for fighting for our fair use rights but i still think DVD Shrink is better. And i dont know about the UK, but in 1980 there was a Supreme Court case against the BETA MAX(vcr prequel) and it ruled that we could legaly make copies of programs we have purchased and have the right to record tv programs for non profit purposes.

2722.2.2004 11:07
andmerr
Inactive

well i dont like our chances after the government signed that free trade with the usa, i guess i'll be leaving australia and heading for finland as we probably will be there next target.

2822.2.2004 11:14
pcshateme
Inactive

the gov't should just relize that if they make it illegal- MORE PEOPLE WILL WANT TO DO IT and there will be more programs like x copy in the future- like NAPSTER- shortly after it was sued- like 10 other P2P programs sprouted up.


come to the grassyknoll video game roms archive
http://grassyknoll.dk3.com
show your stuff- debate politics
http://aroomwithamoose.dk3.com

2922.2.2004 16:58
taclark
Inactive

Withdrawn

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 22 Feb 2004 @ 19:09

If you think education is expensive, try ignorance. Help! Please educate me.

3023.2.2004 8:16

As soon as Americans elected George W Bush as their president, this country of freedom was dead, fullstop. Don't expect there will be any turnaround in any cases regarding DMCA/RIAA/MPAA.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 23 Feb 2004 @ 8:24

3123.2.2004 9:49
pcshateme
Inactive

this isnt a political forum and like it would have been any different with that fucking robot gore?


come to the grassyknoll video game roms archive
http://grassyknoll.dk3.com
show your stuff- debate politics
http://aroomwithamoose.dk3.com

3223.2.2004 17:11

I know we should not talk about politics here. I am not American, it's even more inappropriate discussing American politics. However, my point is, we should not isolately criticize this MPAA/RIAA issue. Because the governing party is the Republic and the president is GWB, I know they are very "rightest" and very conservative. They will not tolerate any innovations that will hurt their benefit. MPAA/RIAA are very "right" too. The judge is affected by this sociaty. So, this ruling is obvious and inevitable.

3323.2.2004 17:26
pcshateme
Inactive

no- obviously the RIAA is very leftest. Thats why music by liberal artists always gets good reviews and is played nonstop on the radio even if it sucks- and right wing music is always shit on even if its good. If you cant tell the media is EXTRREMELY LEFT WING you need to pull your head out of your... thats why shitty movies made by michael moore get rave reviews like bowling for columbine (witch sucked) while everyone beats down fox news for supporting bush. And if you are not American than you know nothing about whats going on here cause no offecnce- but Europe is the most liberal place on the planet. The only reason why europe did not help us (other than england) when we went to Iraq is because they had MASSIVE oil contracts with iraq and did not want to loose them. Who cares about WMDs we stoped an evil dictator from killing and toturing hundreds of thousands of MORE people. If you think that thats WRONG than you have suffered a SERIOUS lack of judgement. BACK ON TOPIC HERE- Theres no way that 321 will lose this case.


come to the grassyknoll video game roms archive
http://grassyknoll.dk3.com
show your stuff- debate politics
http://aroomwithamoose.dk3.com

3423.2.2004 23:07
andmerr
Inactive

hey guys really if you want politics come to australia we got bushs lap dog here .(maybe we should stay on topic) hopefully 321 wont lose in this titanic battle against the barbarian hordes

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 23 Feb 2004 @ 23:11

3524.2.2004 4:04

First let me say, I am a conservative who generally supports Bush (though generally he is not conservative enough for me.) but I believe these decisions have very little to due with left or right. The MPAA has money and the clout to influence judges and politicians exclusive of their bias (money talks as the saying goes). Generally speaking, I would rather keep politics off this forum unless some politician actually steps in and influences decisions or something like that and then it would be appropriate to talk about bias, etc. I don't care whether you like Bush or not these decisions have very little to due with him (I believe the law was passed before he ever came into office).

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 24 Feb 2004 @ 4:19

3624.2.2004 4:14

No politics, please.


Petteri Pyyny (pyyny@twitter)
Webmaster
http://AfterDawn.com/

3724.2.2004 4:37
Rodgers
Inactive

There are scores of chatrooms to air your political views. Let's use this Forum for the purpose intended. Regards to All! Rodgers

3824.2.2004 9:49
pcshateme
Inactive

okay than


come to the grassyknoll video game roms archive
http://grassyknoll.dk3.com
show your stuff- debate politics
http://aroomwithamoose.dk3.com

3926.2.2004 20:20

I have several different DVD players and have store boughten DVDs that do not read correctly but after making a copy w/dvd x copy they read correctly. If the movie industry will replace disk (lifetime warrenty) for the bad ones or ones that go bad after time. I would not need to make copies so that I can enjoyed the DVDs that I buy outright. I do not make copies for anyones use other than myself and believe those that are making copies for piracy should and will be punished for it. They tried to do the same thing with VCR. It was decided that copying for own personal use was ok. But not ok for profit (resale) or what is known as piracy. I do not see any difference between doing it for any media whether VCR, DVD, CD , MP3 etc. etc. The criminals will always find devices to bypass any safeties developed by industry

4024.8.2004 5:08
hijacker
Inactive

Thank god it's over.Personally I really don't care that they stop selling this software.For one, it was overpriced.Two: half the people who used it never got it to work anyway like me for an example.And three, the tech support sucked.Robert Moore wanted people to support him for a quick buck when he can't support the people that bought the software.

4124.8.2004 8:15

if most of the world makes it ill-eagle. 3rd world nations can ok it and make a small fortune doing it and use the money to finance whatever they want. most will buy from them. I will buy used copies when I can. backup those that I can't buy used and will not ever sell my backup. blackmarketing is not legal and should be punished. I have also found that compressing a copy to fit on 4.7 gb disk is not as good as an original 7-11 gb disk. most dvd players have hard time w/compressed files.

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