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Is Your DVD Server Legal? Manufacturers Say Yes!

Developers of movie-ripping products insist their products are legal. Here's how the manufacturers justify their solutions.

The issues surrounding DVD ripping are downright dumbfounding.

What's legal and what isn't? Who is potentially liable for copyright offenses – manufacturers, installers, end users?

Is it better to have a CSS (Content Scramble System) license from the DVD CCA (Copy Control Association), or does that just open you up to litigation as in the case of Kaleidescape?

If the DVD CCA can't catch you, can you be prosecuted under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act?

Can manufacturers create DVD-ripping solutions, as long as they keep the copyright "wrapper" intact? What if their solutions prohibit transferring protected content off of their proprietary network? Does that help their cause?

Is "ripping" a DVD the same as "archiving" it?

Realizing the tremendous benefits of disk-less movie libraries, a slew of manufacturers and software providers are testing the legal waters when it comes to storing protecting DVDs on a hard drive.

How do Manufacturers Justify their DVD Servers?

We've collected FAQs from a variety of vendors. In their own words, here's what they have to say about copyright and licensing.

DVD Ripping: The Whole Picture
Kaleidescape vs. DVD CCA: Judge Rules Against Movie Servers
Tentative ruling in landmark DVD-copying case says Kaleidescape knew its movie servers might be in violation of DVD CCA licensing agreement that prohibits copying of DVDs.
DVD Ripping: The Latest on the Legal Front
This compilation of articles on the legality of DVD ripping, and related fair-use cases, will be updated continuously.
Understanding the Kaleidescape, RealDVD Cases
What have the courts really decided on DVD copying, and what are the implications for the future? We debunk the myths about the the two lawsuits and clarify the current legal state of DVD ripping.
Is DVD 'Ripping' the Same as 'Archiving?'
Is the term "ripping" generally understood as the "illegal" form of copying a disk? Likewise, is "archiving" known as the bit-for-bit "legal" way of doing it?
Can You Be Sued for Helping Clients Rip DVDs?
EFF attorney Fred von Lohmann explains some of the legal issues involved in selling and installing products that enable users to copy DVDs.
Is Your DVD Server Legal? Manufacturers Say Yes!
Developers of movie-ripping products insist their products are legal. Here's how the manufacturers justify their solutions.
Copy Protection Group Sues Kaleidescape (2005)
Kaleidescape has a license from the DVD CCA to employ CSS decoding in its media servers, which it does. Now, DVD CCA is suing Kaleidescape for breach of contract.
Would Studios Rather We Buy DVD Ripping Products Offshore?
As studios work to quash legitimate products like RealDVD, offshore providers of DVD ripping software -- like AnyDVD developer SlySoft -- are reaping the rewards.
Industry Insider: DVD CCA Is an Innovation-Stifling Cartel (2005)
The DVD Copyright Control Association (DVD CCA) is a bunch of bullies. The organization manages to coerce all manufacturers of DVD players to sign away their rights to innovation.

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Article Topics

News · Digital Rights · Media Servers · Legal · Legal · Media Server · Digital Rights · All topics

About the Author

Julie Jacobson, Co-Founder, EH Publishing / Editor-at-large, CE Pro
Julie Jacobson, recipient of the 2014 CEA TechHome Leadership Award, is co-founder of EH Publishing, producer of CE Pro, Electronic House, Commercial Integrator, Security Sales and other leading technology publications. She currently spends most of her time writing for CE Pro in the areas of home automation, security, networked A/V and the business of home systems integration. Julie majored in Economics at the University of Michigan, spent a year abroad at Cambridge University, earned an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin, and has never taken a journalism class in her life. She's a washed-up Ultimate Frisbee player currently residing in Carlsbad, Calif. Follow her on Twitter @juliejacobson. [More by Julie Jacobson]

4 Comments (displayed in order by date/time)

Posted by Jeffrey  on  09/11  at  01:46 PM

I get the feeling that since the manufacturers are pushing this with dubious justification,  this issue will be heading for a massive courtroom showdown in the near future.

Posted by Loren Roetman  on  09/12  at  10:58 AM

How do Manufacturers Justify their DVD Servers?

My question is, How do Manufacturers Justify their HDD pricing?

Posted by Jeff Hall  on  09/12  at  11:17 AM

Loren: Pricing of HDD’s? Easy, these are not your run of the mill Best Buy 1TB junk stacked drives that will fail in a year. Most are RAID 5 or 6 12+TB(6 usable and rated) enterprise data center grade devices capable of multiple simultaneous 1080P signal streams. Unreal data throughout that NAS drives can’t do. They have hot swappable drives etc… Most use propitiatory interconnects and have performance reporting systems on-board. Your basically setting up a mini private data center that could run a fortune 500 company in a residential home. Don’t confuse these for what people put their pictures and mp3 files on from the junk on Dell’s website.

Posted by G.Kingston  on  11/25  at  08:57 PM

In Australia,Queensland. Is it legal to show a DVD movie from a video hire shop or a purchased movie to residents in a community hall in a retirement village. No monetary charges to residents

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