DVD Copy-Protection Group Sues High-End Electronics Firm

Jeff Berg
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. — A DVD copy-protection group filed suit Tuesday against a home theater system company that produces expensive DVD jukeboxes, claiming that the company has created a system to illegally duplicate DVDs.

The DVD Copy Control Association, which controls the copy-protection technology used on DVDs, claims that Kaleidescape Inc. breached its licensing deal with the group when it created its DVD Server-based home entertainment system.

Kaleidescape, which has touted its licensing agreement with the DVD CCA in press releases and news articles since its product hit the market about a year ago, claims that it constantly kept the copy-protection group updated on product advancements and worked to the specifications of its license.

The Kaleidescape system is comprised of a server with up to 12 hard drives, a movie player and a DVD reader. When a DVD is inserted into the system, it creates an exact duplicate of the information contained on the disc and stores it, allowing customers to view movies anywhere in their home without having to change DVDs.

Kaleidescape, which maintains that it has followed all of the terms of its contract with the DVD CCA, said its systems can store up to 440 movies and includes all of the copy-protection information, called Content Scramble System, when its duplicates a DVD.

According to the DVD CCA’s complaint, this technology is exactly what the group is trying to prevent.

“The express intent and purpose of the contract […] is to prevent copying of copyrighted materials such as DVD motion pictures,” said Bill Coats, an attorney with DVD CCA, in a statement. “While Kaleidescape obtained a license to use CSS, the company has built a system to do precisely what the license and VSS are designed to prevent – the wholesale copying of protected DVDs.”

Michael Malcolm, chief executive officer of Kaleidescape, said that the company has worked very closely with the DVD CCA since it began creating its hardware system and gone to great lengths to meet the specifications set out in the license.

“We are flabbergasted by this lawsuit,” Malcolm told CNET News.com. “We have gone to great pains to make our system comply 100 percent with licenses and all the associated technical procedures and requirements.”

The lawsuit is DVD Copy Control Association vs. Kaleidescape Inc., no. CV-031829.