AfterDawn: Tech news

Another lawsuit against 321 Studios

Written by Jari Ketola @ 15 Jun 2004 15:40 User comments (33)

Another lawsuit against 321 Studios 321 Studios, the makers of the well known X Copy software products, have been sued yet again -- this time by three computer game makers.
Atari Inc., Electronic Arts Inc. and Vivendi Universal Games Inc. joined forces and sued 321 Studios under DMCA allegations. According to Doug Lowenstein, president of the Entertainment Software Association trade group representing U.S. publishers of computer and video games, 321's Games X Copy is illegal under the DMCA law, because its sole purpose is to circumvent copyright protection.

What makes this case absolutely absurd is the fact that backing up computer software is perfectly legal under provisions in federal copyright law. There are other products, such as Alcohol 120%, which are capable of backing up copy protected discs as well, and they are, like Games X Copy, perfectly legal. The only difference is that 321 Studios has been actively speaking on behalf of consumer rights -- every consumer should have the right to make backups of the products they have purchased, if there is a possibility of the original product being damaged. Obviously the movie industry, and now the video game industry, don't agree with this.

The lawsuits brought against 321 Studios by movie industry have made the company an easy target for others to go after. It is quite unfortunate, that their endeavors to provide consumers with rights to fair use of the products they purchase, seem to have failed.

Source: Yahoo! News

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33 user comments

115.6.2004 15:56

This is just a matter of giving 'the Coup De Grace' to this Company. These legal 'teams' are like the vultures who come and want to get their share of the carcass.

215.6.2004 19:41

this should be an opertunity to file a counter claim due to the nature of this suit. it is glaringly obvious that they are simply trying to put the nail in the coffin of 321. filing suit against someone under false pretense just to waste time, money, and public tax dollars is surely illegal in the US. if its not illegal, that would let people be professional lawsuit bringers. eventually, they would win a case without having to worry about the cases they lose. as the plaintiff, unless counter suit is filed, you just walk away with the loss of atty fees and court costs. i hope the judge finds the plaintiffs in gross contempt of the moral fabric of this country and the world. atari, why must you join my list of products that are off limits to me due to the nature of this "ghost battle" against a reality with no basis in truth. i guess its 2600 ROMS only for me. STELLA! STELLA!

315.6.2004 19:53

This lawsuit is actually pissing me off. 321 Studios have enough bullshit suits trouble as it is, and then three big gaming companies decide to join in and pick on 321 Studios. What the fuck is this, a bullying ring of legal bullshit? This is totally disgraceful. The only real major reason their sueing 321 Studios is because they're afraid. They're afraid of piracy. They're afraid of our rights. They're afraid of their consumers. They don't want their games copy being backed up because they think we're all pirates and we're going to sell or give it to each other. Words cannot describe it. If you're feeling what I'm thinking, maybe you could explain it better. They're only sueing 321 Studios because they're the only company to actually have some impact on the totally sensible idea to backup our software. In other words, their software actually sold quite a bit. DVD X Copy costs a lot, and hell, it's worth it. Jesus Christ this is total bullshit.

416.6.2004 2:26

These big companies really piss me off, 321 Studios are just offering a product like Aheads Nero these big companies dont like the fact that 321 Studios are just making it more easy for the average PC User to back up what they already own.

516.6.2004 3:19

It's fucking unbelievable. 1)CloneCD 2)BlinWrite 3)Alcohol 120% and counting..... They just want to close down 321 Studios, that's my opinion.

616.6.2004 4:57

"Let's pick on the little guy" This Crap is starting to get old,321 Studios is now the official "wiping boy" of Movie and Gamming Corporations. All I fell is Disgust.

716.6.2004 5:10

Why do you folks find this so unbelievable? And why do you think 3-2-1 Studios is the poor little guy that is being picked on? The owner bragged to his audience that he had achieved millions of dollars in sales during the first few years of operation! The bottom line is that 3-2-1's business was founded on an illegal activity right from the start! When the game copying software was announced it just added insult to injury and anyone with a brain knew it was just a matter of time before another lawsuit was filed to ban it's distribution. 3-2-1 Studios has done nothing to help the fight for Fair Use Rights. In fact, I suggest their blatant violation of the law has hurt the cause. The Directors of this company should have been stopped a long time ago ...

816.6.2004 5:23

i must say buzoon, how do you think things have gotten changed throughout history? complacency? blind obedience? if society thought like that at different points in history, id be speaking british, german, or french. i would also be sickened by the daily sale of human beings as slaves. the "popular consensus" of what is fair and just has moved many mountains. i dont mean to draw comparisons to such tragedies, but the point remains. the law is not always right or moral. sometimes you must push for difference. you seem to share the corporate attitude that you cannot trust your customers. that we are all theives. again hollywood vs. betamax. i cant even begin to articulate all the counter-points i have for you. you are entitled to your opinion, i didnt come here to hear the same exact things i express. only some common ground. i think the website you are looking for is www.iwillobeythosewiththemoney.com.

916.6.2004 5:42

nato1200 ... I hear you, but I don't think the activities of 3-2-1 Studios can be compared to some of the issues you mentioned. The bottom line is this: 1. The DMCA, right or wrong or whether you agree with it or not, is the law. 2. The DMCA prohibits the use of software to defeat copy protection with some exceptions for research and educational use. 3. The owner of 3-2-1 developed and distributed a product that clearly violates the DMCA (i.e. the law). 4. The owner of 3-2-1 has personally profited by making and distributing illegal software. Whether or not you agree with the DMCA (I don't) is irrelevant. If you claim you didn't know about the law before you violated it (as the owner of 3-2-1 did) is irrelevant. I belive the activites on forums like Afterdawn have done a great deal for the cause - maybe not effective in bringing down the DMCA, but certainly effective in allowing use to exercise our Fair Use rights, which is what we are really after. I also believe 3-2-1's activities have brought too much attention to the cause and all forms of Fair Use Rights are now in jeopardy, including those we enjoyed before 3-2-1 came along. The squeaky wheel gets the grease. Pandora's Box has been opened ...

1016.6.2004 6:24
hijacker
Inactive

They just want to pin point 321 and get them out of the scene.These big companys think that if they can stop one business making software the other companys that make the same will stop to.That's why 321 has been such a target in my opinion. I think it's all a bunch of BS. Where would technology be if we could back sh*t up.If they don't want people to back up sh*t then make a cd that won't get scracthed and fu*cked up.I won't by atari games if they pull crap like this

1116.6.2004 6:33

3-2-1 made itself a target. The attack on 3-2-1 doesn't seem to have affected other software distributors ... yet (e.g. dvdshrink).

1216.6.2004 6:56

buzzoon: it is obvious from this thread and from other statements you made previously that you have a deep-seeded and unshakable opinion about 321Studios and especially their owner. You make a very good point about the illegality of DVDXCopy but your obvious dislike for the company and the way you make your point ("...anyone with a brain would..." ; "...bragged to his audience..."} seriously undermines the objectivity of your statements. The article should not lead us to start another discussion about the DMCA / 321Studios/ Fair Use rights situation. As the writer points out, other legally available products (Alcohol 120%., others) are available and are considered 'legal'. The 'point' of the story is probably that it is 'pointless' to go after this company at all. There is no doubt that 321Studios must be close to bankrupcy. There cannot be much money available for legal settlements. That's why I compared the legal teams with 'the vultures'.

1316.6.2004 7:13

siber ... I think the feelings between me and the owner of 3-2-1 are mutual - he has attacked me in his own forums and has avoided answering any of the 'hard questions' I have asked him. I have two legally purchased products from 3-2-1 ... DVD-X-COPY (original) and DVD-X-MAKER. Although I do not currently use either of these products, I purchased them in good faith. The company's promise of support was a major factor in my decision to buy these products. Based on what I am reading on the 3-2-1 forums, the company is not supporting their products, the promised upgrades are not happening, promised rebates are not being honoured, and users are being left to flounder. So, even if you take the legal issues out of the equation, 3-2-1 Studios has mismanaged itself right out of business.

1416.6.2004 7:30

You are almost certainly right. I knew you had bought their products, I have 2 pieces of software of theirs myself. Don't use it much either. Regardless if they wasted their money on a corporate jet or on legal bills, it is obvious that we should not expect any upgrades, support, etc. I expect they will declare financial insolvency soon. Again, this may not be the point of the story. This is probably not the place or the time to spue poison around about 321Studios. That time has already passed and has been done repeatedly. What may be the most relevant piece of news is that legal action is continuing against this company even though they are already down and out for the count. This is not going to be a popular move. We don't generally like people who kick a man who is already down. These legal teams obviously don't care about that. It makes me worry seriously about what is coming next... Buzzoon: not trying to be difficult here. I know this point is dear to your heart...

1516.6.2004 7:40

I have games I like to backup, anybody have this software?

1616.6.2004 7:58

cletusb: which software? Games X Copy? Alcohol 120%? Do you want to find out where to download the program? Just to let you know, this forum does not discuss or offer illegal downloads. Try:http://xcopy.co.uk/updates/?=s76gdfdsd675abcdf565gf65a for 123Studio product downloads.

1716.6.2004 7:59

buzzoon- just wanted to say i appreciate your tone on the response to my post. furthermore, i would like to appologize for the fake website reference. cheers!

1816.6.2004 8:08

nato1200 ... we're all here for the same reason. It's an emotional issue as well as a legal one. And, I really enjoy talking with you folks :)

1916.6.2004 8:45

Where there's a will, there's a way..Especially with modern technology.. It is sad that companies or people with money decide to put a stop to something because it will "cut into" their ability to make even more money. Even though it infringes on our rights, the very people who are making them money. Wy can't we as citizens of these great "United" States, file some kind of lawsuit against these companies for violating our right to fair use. Is that possible? Sher

2016.6.2004 9:05

pudgy: A class action type lawsuit against Jack Valenti and his band of thugs sounds like a good idea ... in theory anyway. The problem with any type of mass action like this is you need to have enough people involved to get the Court's attention. Although folks here are very tuned into the Fair Use vs. the DMCA issue, we represent only a tiny fraction of the population ... not even enough to cause a blip on the radar screen. When issues are prioritised for action, Fair Use Rights is always near the bottom. Someone suggested that the political will to change the DMCA just doesn't exist right now. I agree with that. There are too many, much larger and more important issues to deal with in these times (wars, education, health care, etc.).

2116.6.2004 9:38

Hi buzzoon Law is not logical and neither is its application. In Ontario it is against the law to speed, it is illegal to have in your possession a radar detector - However it is not illegal to manufacture radar detectors. Bell radar dectors are made in Toronto, Ontario. In other jurisdictions, it is legal to own and operate a radar detector but still illegal to speed. Do we close radar manufacturers? Should we close Hollywood down for failure to pay royalties to Thomas Edison because they moved to California to evade his fees?

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 16 Jun 2004 @ 9:41

2216.6.2004 9:52

In Canada we have an even larger problem with stupid laws than our US friends. Our laws are still based on the King's Law and most of them are in dire need of a rewrite. I understand about the radar detectors. It's like pot ... we can smoke it but we can't possess it! Did you know that if I put studded tires on my Jeep and travel east, I have to take them off at the Manitoba/Ontario border? Ontario doesn't allow them!!

2316.6.2004 11:56

you can smoke pot in Canada?

2416.6.2004 16:12

i believe its "decriminalized."

2518.6.2004 2:12

Good-Bye 321, the software that 321 produces on a whole is terrible, great if you work within their tech support dept as there are nothing but issue's, not to mention their numerours lawsuits, close the door behine you 321 !!! :-)

2618.6.2004 11:55

I agree that they are taking this law suit otta proportion, but why dont you guys just change to another program.. Clone cd - has served me well and i plan on using it alot still. Good talking to you

2719.6.2004 6:02

We use other programs, that's not the point..The point here is, They are taking away our rights to fair use, by trying to disallow us to make copies of discs that we own. Sher

2819.6.2004 14:19

Ok, point taken. if its our discs that we are copying then there should not be this lawsuit. Believe me im also pretty pissed off about the hole thing. Cheers

2920.6.2004 18:22

TO BUZZOON I UNDERSTAND NOW WHY YOU DONT LIKE 321 STUDIOS YOUR FROM CANADA YOU CHANGE LIKE THE WIND.

302.8.2004 15:53

Oh brilliantly said 705! wow he is canadian! I guess that solves the whole issue about our right to fair use. It sad that 321 has been shutdown. This whole fiasco has just gotten a lot more people involed in backing up their own media. I didnt even hear about DVDXCopy until i came across these lawsuit in the news. I know the short life of optical media and am an avid "backer-upper" now.

313.8.2004 19:40
hijacker
Inactive

321 Studios got the final blow from these pricks.What a bunch of assholes.321 studios had some awesome software that I thought I would never see in my time,oh well it just takes some game industry and mpaa to screw things up.It's just like afonic said , "It's fucking unbelievable" and I can't agree anymore with that statement.I just pisses me off to no extent.If someone pirates some games now from these company's I'm going to just laugh my ass off because this is so unfair to this company to get screwed they way they did.What about alcohol 120% and 123 studios some other wannabe dvd software.What make them any different.

324.8.2004 11:29
bighunk
Inactive

I purchased 321's both DVDXCopy & DVDXCopy Xpress from Fry's Outpost in November 2003, and I have yet to get one $40 rebate. I emailed them about it about 3-4 weeks ago, and got no answer. Does anyone know a way I can get my rebate? Thank You = Bighunk

3312.8.2004 8:00
platnm630
Inactive

Bighunk, From the way I see it, and from what everyone else is stating here, you won't see a rebate. I personally use DVD Shrink, and sometimes I will use DVD X Copy Platinum. This site has been wonderful in helping me with different things. I can now remove the 321 splash screen and NOT have to use the 321 gone that was posted here... For some stupid reason, I wasn't doing it right. But anyway, based on everything, you probably won't get a rebate, but I tell you what I would do, is go back to where you bought the software and tell them what the deal is and that you want THEM to honor the rebate because that is why you bought it... of better yet, go to www.planetfeedback.com and file a complaint with the store.. There was a rebate offered as an incentive to purchase, and you want it honored...period... I have had many successes with planet feedback one was with Sears, another with Paypal, and I can keep going.. Good luck...

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