- DVD software developer Studio 321 is preparing to launch six new applications, including an enhanced version of DVD copying software that is the subject of a US court case brought under the controversial Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).
Studio 321 is awaiting a ruling over its DVD X Copy software, which includes a facility that allows users to rip backups of movie DVDs. If the ruling goes against Studio 321, the company says this new version of the copying software will ship without the “ripper” module, which decrypts movie DVDs and allows them to be copied.
Other products in the new line-up include a DVD editing and authoring application that allows conversions to and from standard DV video, MPEG-2 and MPEG-1 formats. The company is also creating an add-in that converts Microsoft PowerPoint, as well as a CD/CDRW/DVD utility that enables data to be recovered from damaged or defective discs.
The expansion of the product range is effectively an insurance policy in case the ruling goes against the company; if the ruling does go against Studio 321, the company’s main business will sustain “a hit” because it will have to make fundamental changes to its DVD X Copy and DVD Copy Plus software, said chief executive Rob Semaan.
….If Studio 321 is forced to change its software, its users would have to download a third-party ‘ripper’ module from the Internet and run it before using his software to make a copy: “Customers would need to find one of the dozen or so rippers off the Internet. It would add an additional step, and would affect sales,” he admitted.
In May, the judge in charge of this case said she would come back with a ruling “shortly”, but two months later, there is still no word. However, no news is good news for Semaan: “For us, the longer she takes the better.” [ZDNet]