AfterDawn: Tech news

Apple, Microsoft, Real and Adobe sued

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 12 May 2007 8:39 User comments (29)

Apple, Microsoft, Real and Adobe sued Media Rights Technology (MRT) has sent cease-and-desist letters to giants Microsft, Adobe, Real and Apple claiming that their products, including Vista, Flash, RealPlayer and iTunes all infringe the DMCA.
"Together these four companies are responsible for 98 percent of the media players in the marketplace; CNN, NPR, Clear Channel, MySpace, Yahoo, and YouTube all use these infringing devices to distribute copyrighted works," said MRT CEO Hank Risan in a statement. "We will hold the responsible parties accountable. The time of suing John Doe is over."

The argument that MRT is using is kind of confusing. They are not a content owner so it seems strange that they are suing under the DMCA. They claim that the media player software created by Apple, etc, can "tune into digital music streams like Internet radio stations, many of which are transmitted without any sort of DRM attached. Although streams are designed to be ephemeral, it's trivial to use streamripper software to snag copies of the songs being played through such services."

MRT argues that the four companies should use some form of DRM to protect those streams. However, MRT only recommends one form of DRM, their very own "X1 SeCure [sic] Recording Control."

The lawsuits threatened can possibly lead to "statutory damages of at least $200 to $2500 for each product distributed or sold" unless they adopt the company's proprietary streamripping protection code. The legal argument at work here is that, under the DMCA, "mere avoidance of an effective copyright protection solution is a violation of the act."

There is a flaw in MRTs argument however. Certain companies like CNN and NPR distribute their own content legally and without stream protection, because, well, they own the content. Is MRT implying that the content prividers need to put stream protection on thier own content? Also why would the software providers get in trouble if the streams are meant to not have DRM protection?

Basically, this seems like a huge ploy to get these media giants to use MRT's stream protection DRM and according to Risan "actively avoiding the use of MRT's technologies and failure to comply with this demand could result in a federal court injunction to any of the above named parties to cease production or sale of their products."

In a statement from last month, Risan claims that stream rippers are a larger problem than P2P file sharers."Stream Rippers [sic] are growing at the rate of well over 15 million units per month, with over 250 million user downloads in the last few years, costing the entertainment industry $20 billion to $50 billion annually. The problem has now eclipsed P2P file sharing as the #1 form of digital piracy." He also claims that Vista includes a built-in ripper—the dastardly Sound Recorder, which can "deaggregate performance-based streams of unlimited duration and convert them into unprotected WMA downloads, easily uploaded onto Zune players."

Although those facts amy be true, they are all based on "recent MRT studies" and RIAA studies as well.

It seems MRT is now making it a requirement to use their DRM scheme, whether you like it or not.


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29 user comments

112.5.2007 08:46

What a band of idiots. Not much difference between this suit, and Tony Soprano offering "protection" for your business. hehe

212.5.2007 08:56

Seems like these companies are getting "payback" for the lawsuits they used on other companies and indivudials over DMCA.

312.5.2007 10:04

Why dont they sue companies that make microphones because you can record anything with microphones.

412.5.2007 11:16

god these fucks are retarded.

I think I'm going to invent a new door lock, then we can pass a bill that requires all door to have locks. Upon success, I will sue every single person within my power for not using locks on their doors, and specifically note that mine are required.

Seriously, how the hell does this make sense to them?

512.5.2007 11:35

OMG who are these people? What judge would let the one go anywhere? They don't own the content of the media and they want to sue? I need to look up this group. And who is the other 2%?


612.5.2007 12:50

their mother has been feeding them live goat

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 12 May 2007 @ 12:52

712.5.2007 14:00

From our legal troll devision anyone seeing this having legs or is it so broad it will be shot down ASAP.

812.5.2007 15:11

This is a great marketing ploy to tell all the companies about their new tech that it will take them a long time to use. The aspect i like about this is the fact that this company had the gonads to take up the challenge to take these companies on. Im not sure if they are going to win but well done for trying.

912.5.2007 16:59

Originally posted by ZIppyDSM:
From our legal troll devision anyone seeing this having legs or is it so broad it will be shot down ASAP.
In case you do not know, some of these other companies have sued people over other legal matters that were just as stupid! I know the company suing won't win, but I think it is funny to see them squirm....Microsoft especially.

At least they get a taste of their own medicine!
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 12 May 2007 @ 5:06

1012.5.2007 17:04

double post

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 12 May 2007 @ 5:04

1112.5.2007 17:38

I agree with Webe123, he is right about MS, but I guess this is what big companies do after they've finished ripping off other companies and certain OS's.

1212.5.2007 19:07

I fthey get the judge from the McDonalds coffee incident, then we are all screwed and the world will come to an end.

1312.5.2007 19:40

Wow, the stupidity and greed of man is astounding. People get sued over everything these days, I can't stand those people.

1412.5.2007 22:09

"Although streams are designed to be ephemeral, it's trivial to use streamripper software to snag copies of the songs being played through such services. "

ahh i beleive that i used to own a sony walkman before the internet was even invented. Noone screamed when i recorded songs from the radio using that, i don't really see the difference.

anyway why stream rip when im 'told' that p2p is way easier and faster to find songs on

1512.5.2007 22:13

also im sick of people coming up with these ridculous claims that the industry is losing trillians of dollars. The fact is that most people who illegally download music and dvd's wouldn't go out and spend the money on the majority of said music and dvd's that they get.

so its not lost revenue because it never really existed in the first place.

1613.5.2007 04:25

Just some people looking for some reason to get at the giants. Pathetic.

1713.5.2007 06:10

I think that people are just using piracy now to sue everyone they can so they can get money.

1813.5.2007 08:55

Originally posted by DrKePhRiM:
I think that people are just using piracy now to sue everyone they can so they can get money.

For some reason, I agree with you, DrKephrim.

1913.5.2007 09:46

This is hilarious. I mean, come on, Sound Recorder? That's been a part of Windows since 3.1!

Weak. And think about this one: Microsoft, Apple, Adobe: some of the biggest companies in the industry. Who do you think is going to run out of money first, plaintiff, or defendant?

2013.5.2007 09:57

The one who should be sued is microsoft first for selling operating systems that are not secured.

second the companies, computers should be sold with optional operating system as chosen by the buyer.

2114.5.2007 07:53

lol thats good buy and use our product or we will sue your for 20 x what it will cost you if you had just bought it.

Now thats a sales line with a punch, lol the sorta thats gona knock teeth out.

Surly all the parties need to do its to prove that mrt's technology is flawed.. surly the fact virtualy all sounds cards can now record what u hear (stereo mix) means that their protection systems about as much use as chocolate teapots.

2214.5.2007 22:10

Wow thats what I call a bussiness plan. Your not useing my program so I'll sue you untill you use my program. I hope the judge that gets this kicks it and slaps them with a fine or make them have to pay the legal fees to defend agianst this total BS lawsuit. I own the dam content If I do not want to use any DRM then so be it its my dam content and I can do what ever I feel like with it. SUCK IT

2315.5.2007 04:47

So to sum it up...all it is is a 3rd party who just wants other to use their stuff because they aren't making any money and trying to find a loop hole for their to be a universal protection.


Ok, go ahead and use the software, won't take someone in the time it takes to fry an egg to crack that bad boy.

2415.5.2007 05:46

bloody idiots, haven't they got anything better to do like swimming in their pools of cash?

2515.5.2007 16:35

Sound recorder dates back to windows at least Windows 3.0. Where was this company then?

2619.5.2007 07:41

This makes about as much sense as M$ crying about how Linux infringes on their patents, but does not name any patents specifically?
I think Lawyers and Judges need a bitch slap.........LOL

2719.5.2007 21:34

Don't you get it???

This guy is a GENIOUS!!!

He's using all their own arguments & weapons AGAINST them! :-)

Of course what he's saying is ludicrous - that's THE POINT! Everything about the DMCA is ludicrous, but no one has pointed out just HOW ludicrous yet, which is the only reason it's in place. Now that the people who WROTE it are getting the back end of their own work, MAYBE they'll wise up & get rid of it.

We all need to get behind this guy, and support him to the UTMOST! Not to the point of him actually winning & forcing his own BS down our throats, but at least to the point of the media giants getting scared straight!

2820.5.2007 13:07

Foolish argument and claim ,,,, in todays world where companies are ding there best to advance the techology ,, still such peple are there who are nothing but a hurdle in success and technology ,,,,

believe me ,,, these DMCA etc would be definately using the systems and media stuff provided by gaints ,,,

all political games ,, just want to get soem money from gaint ,,, can call this ,,, improved begging style ,,,

2920.5.2007 18:52

I am surprised in these times of patenting practically everything under the sky no one has thought of patenting "forn****ing". Then they can sue the whole world !!!

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