Court Deals Blow to DVD-Copying Kaleidescape

     (CN) – A California appeals court overturned a ruling for Kaleidescape, maker of DVD-copying systems, and ordered the trial court to decide if the company has breached its licensing agreement with the DVD Copy Control Association.

     Kaleidescape makes a home entertainment system that can copy, store and organize content from thousands of DVDs.
     The DVD CCA is the industry’s exclusive licenser for Content Scramble System (CSS), the standard technology used to prevent illegal pirating.
     The association accused Kaleidescape of breaching its licensing agreement by developing a product that didn’t comply with CSS specifications. Specifically, the association objected to the system’s ability to store and play back DVDs after the disks have been removed.
     It asked the court to issue an injunction blocking Kaleidescape from selling its DVD-copying devices.
     Kaleidescape won in the trial court, where a judge found that the specifications had not been part of the original license agreement. Even if they had, the court added, the DVD CCA failed to show that it would suffer irreparable harm without an injunction.
     The 6th District Court of Appeal in Santa Clara disagreed and overturned the lower court.
     Kaleidescape signed the agreement knowing it would have to build its system according to the association’s specifications, the appellate panel concluded.
     “Accordingly, Kaleidescape was bound by the terms contained in the general specifications,” Justice Premo wrote. “The trial court must decide what those terms require and whether Kaleidescape has breached them.”
     Kaleidescape was the blueprint for RealDVD, RealNetwork’s DVD-copying and storing software. Earlier this week, a federal judge in San Francisco barred RealNetwork from selling RealDVD because it appeared to violate federal anti-pirating laws and breach the company’s licensing agreement with DVD CCA.
     RealNetworks used the Santa Clara County Court ruling, now overturned, to bolster its case that RealDVD aided piracy.

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