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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.


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ReQuest - Intelligent Media Client (IMC)


From a dealer-confidential FAQ sheet

What is the IMC?
The IMC is a network media client for ReQuest F and IQ servers that connects to TVs and delivers a whole home entertainment solution with movies, music, photos, and online services. The IMC is designed as an intelligent media gateway to local and online media.

How does the system add and play DVDs from the server?
When a user selects “archive” the system will create a personal backup or archive of the DVD on the server. When users want to watch this video, the media is played through a fully compliant and licensed CSS player and preserves all CSS.

How do clients archive DVDs?
When a DVD is inserted into IMC users must select to either play the movie or archive it to the server.

Can I archive rented or borrowed DVDs?
No. The ReQuest server has a built-in physical verification system that will ask for physical DVDs at random times to verify ownership.

Can I copy the DVD archives or watch them on a computer?
No. The archives cannot be copied and will only play using the ReQuest IMC through the licensed CSS player.

From Q&A with ReQuest president Peter Cholnoky

How do you get movies onto your F and IQ servers?
Users insert their purchased DVDs into the IMC and are asked if they would like to play the movie or archive the movie to the ReQuest server. If they select Archive, then the IMC archives a personal backup copy of the DVD onto the ReQuest server. The full DVD is on the ReQuest server and can be viewed on any TV via the IMC through our licensed CSS player.

Can users add movies that are ripped to PCs and other networked devices?
No. Ripping movies removes CSS and we do not believe that ripping DVDs is legal.

Does Request have a CSS license from DVD CCA?
ReQuest uses a licensed and fully compliant CSS player and preserves all CSS. We are just like Microsoft Vista that does not have a CSS license; to play DVDs you must install and use a licensed player. Our licensed player is included in our IMC.

Can you rip DVDs straight to your hard drive servers?
We do not rip DVDs. The system will create a personal backup or archive of the DVD on the server. When users want to watch this video, the media is played through a fully compliant and licensed CSS player and preserves all CSS.

Signing an agreement with the DVD-CCA is not a license to import, rip, or archive a DVD to a hard disk. It is a license that grants the right to use the CSS encryption and decryption keys contained on a DVD for the purpose of playback or to master DVD media for distribution. The primary signers of the CCA agreement are DVD player manufacturers and other organizations who need to decode DVD content. In fact, it may be a total breach of the CCA license itself if any entity that signs it engages in DVD ripping.

The license to play the DVD grants the holder the right to access, request, decode, and decrypt the CSS encoded data on the DVD. Without this information, playback of the DVD is scrambled and unusable.

ReQuest has not signed the DVD-CCA agreement and therefore does not engage in any CSS decoding, ripping, or copy protection bypass during the archive process.

We do believe that the consumer is empowered with the right to create and maintain a personal archive of the media they have purchased. Using software created by ReQuest engineers, the DVD is transferred from the DVD media to the hard disk of our servers bit-for-bit with no decoding, compression, or other process.

When the customer selects a DVD to play, we present that archive disc image to a fully licensed, CSS compliant, DVD player software for playback. That software performs the authentication, handshaking, and decrypting resulting in perfect DVD playback with an identical experience to the original DVD media. This is identical to how users watch DVDs in Microsoft Vista PCs.

How do you verify that the user owns the content?
The ReQuest server has a built-in physical verification system that may ask for physical DVDs at random times to verify ownership.

The physical verification system is implemented to try and help prevent illegal archiving of un-owned media and is not designed to impact user experience. Users will have the option to verify at a convenient time, or to "Ask me later."






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 · Legal · Media Servers · 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  11:46 AM

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  08:58 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  09:17 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  06:57 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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