Real Networks finally caved to the studios in the case against its RealDVD copying software. The company agreed to scrap plans for an appeal and pay the studios $4.5 million as reimbursement for legal fees.
So what does that mean for Kaleidescape?
The pioneer of very-high-end movie servers was sued in 2004 by the DVD CCA (Copy Control Association) for breach of contract. The DVD CCA, which lords over the Content Scramble System (CSS) decryption software, says its contract with Kaleidescape prohibits DVD copying of any form—even if CSS remains intact, as it does in the Kaleidescape system.
After a preliminary contractual dispute was settled, Kaleidescape is heading to court on the breach-of-contract case.
Unlike Kaleidescape, Real Networks was sued for a breach of contract with the DVD CCA and the violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). No DMCA claim has been filed against Kaleidescape.
In an email to EH, Kaleidescape CEO Michael Malcom provided a quick response to the RealDVD ruling:
We have not analyzed the breach of contract claims that the DVD CCA brought against Real. The two cases involve different products, different facts and different sets of contract terms. So, we don’t believe that this settlement has any implications for Kaleidescape’s case with the DVD CCA.
However, today is a sad day for consumers because Real was valiantly fighting for the fair use rights of consumers - rights that the major motion picture studios have been systematically destroying. Real attempted to balance the consumer’s fair use right to copy DVDs that they own with a practical approach to protecting the rights of the content owners, something the studios should embrace given all the freely available software tools that copy DVDs while making no attempt to protect the rights of the studios.
Separately, attorney Fred von Lohmann of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, told EH, “Both cases really turn on the question of how the DVD CCA contract is interpreted. The RealDVD case will certainly be relevant, but is not the last word on the matter.”
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Julie Jacobson is co-founder of EH Publishing and currently spends most of her time writing for CE Pro, mostly in the areas of home automation, networked A/V and the business of home systems integration. She majored in Economics at the University of Michigan, earned an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin, and has never taken a journalism class in her life. Julie is a washed-up Ultimate Frisbee player with the scars to prove it. Follow her on Twitter @juliejacobson.