321 Studios in court challenging the Hollywood studios over its DVD-copying technology. As we have said here ad nauseum, all citizens have a right to make a back up copy of their own DVDs and music CDs. The DMCA denies citizens this right; ergo, the DMCA is crap.
Lisa Bowman is covering the case for CNET:
- The judge in a closely watched lawsuit challenging the legality of DVD-copying software said she was "substantially persuaded" by past court rulings that favored copyright holders, but closed a hearing Thursday without issuing a ruling in the case.
....U.S. District Judge Susan Illston, considering a summary judgment motion, said she had carefully read decisions in two similar cases; judges for Motion Picture Association of America v. 2600 and U.S. v. ElcomSoft said that intellectual property holders can pursue software developers who offer products that crack copyright protections.
....In the 2600 case, an appellate court ordered the hacker magazine to stop posting or linking to DVD-cracking code. In ElcomSoft, a jury acquitted a Russian software company of criminal charges over a tool that cracked the security on eBooks. But before the trial, a judge refused to toss the case out amid assertions that the DMCA should not apply.
At Thursday's hearing, the studios argued that 321's software violates the DMCA by stripping antipiracy protections out of DVDs to copy them. Essentially, the studios argue that it shouldn't matter what the consumers intend to do with the DVD after they've copied it--that the mere action of breaking the code runs afoul of the law.
....During the hearing, 321's attorney argued that declaring the company's products illicit would amount to "a ban on the digital printing press," because it would ban acts of copying and excerpting film that traditionally have been legal in the non-digital world.
"A copyright holder has no right to prevent someone from engaging in fair use," Durie said, noting that the studios' position would prevent students from excerpting film clips for school projects or parents making backups of their work. "That, I would suggest, can't be right. That can't be what the drafters of the DMCA intended."
It can't be what they intended if they have half a brain, that is. Either way, it needs to be changed to clear up this ambiguity: every consumer's right to make a backup copy of a DVD supecedes the copyright holder's concerns about piracy.