Kaleidescape Sued by Hollywood

Discussion in 'CD/DVD/Blu-ray & Misc Hardware' started by Clint DeBoer, Dec 9, 2004.

  1. Clint DeBoer Banned

    Clint DeBoer
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    <P><FONT face="Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size=2><A href="http://forums.audioholics.com/forums/showthread.php?p=35201#post35201"><IMG style="WIDTH: 123px; HEIGHT: 100px" alt=[Kaleidescape] hspace=10 src="http://www.audioholics.com/news/thumbs/Kaleidescape_th.jpg" align=left border=0></A>In what has got to be the most ridiculous item of the day, Kaleidescape is being sued by the DVD Copy Control Association (basically a bunch of Hollywood Studios), who alleges that its proprietary copy protection technology of movie DVDs, known as the Content Scramble System, is being misused in the Kaleidescape System that makes permanent copies of movie DVDs onto a hard drive and allows users to access the video library from anywhere in a home. What's even more astounding is that this suit is happening even though&nbsp;Kaleidescape has been <STRONG><EM>paying</EM>&nbsp;</STRONG>for a license to use the CSS technology for several years. </FONT></P>
    <P><FONT face="Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size=2>Privately held Kaleidescape, based in Mountain View, vowed to fight the charges and countersue. This is a slap in the face as far as I'm concerned. We wish&nbsp;Kaleidescape well and hope the CCA loses this lawsuit quickly and in a big way. This kind of behavior from Hollywood has got to stop, especially when companies do their best to abide by the parameters of licensing and provide unique and effective products to consumers that are also careful maintain copyright protections in the process.</FONT></P>
    <P><FONT face="Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size=2>[Read the Report]</FONT></P>
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 23, 2014
  2. hopjohn Full Audioholic

    hopjohn
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    George Lucas uses one of these in his own HT. Maybe Kaleidascape should bring him in to testify. :rolleyes:
  3. Rob Babcock Moderator

    Rob Babcock
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    The instant I heard about the Kaleidescape movie server, I wondered why they hadn't been sued over it. Don't get me wrong, the suit is absurd and I how they shove it up the studio's arses, but it does decrypt DVDs, which is technically illegal as far as I know. But many elements of current DRM strike me as illegal and unconstitutional, and I hope someone can afford to call them out on this repressive and heavyhanded peice of legislation.
  4. djoxygen Full Audioholic

    djoxygen
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    Not knowing the terms of Kaleidescape's license, or the complaints laid out in the suit, it's tough to know where to come down on this particular legal action, but the larger question is absurd.

    We all grew up making cassette tapes of our LPs to play in our cars and on our Walkmans. Taping our favorite Star Trek episodes to watch later or bring to our friend's house.

    How long has "Fair Use" in relation to time and place-shifting content we own been established by the courts? And now that the FCC, congress, and everyone else is in the pockets of the media companies, it's going to be illegal to even fast-forward through TiVo'd commercials.

    I think we need some "activist court" to stop this erosion of our rights.
  5. WmAx Audioholic Samurai

    WmAx
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    Fair use? LOL. This might be headed for the trash can, to become an obselete term in many uses of the word today. I find it pathetic that the law was specifically written to protect users of software(backup, etc.) and music(copies, etc.) but that it is allowed to be over-ruled by other law(s)(DMCA anyone?) that exist merely because a corporate entity did not like the old one. Why even keep the old laws? What a crock!

    The only thing that the media companies have managed to accomplish so far is to reduce the versatality and value of the material(s) they distribute. Did you know that the copyright office wants to reduce your rights as well? Refer to the Induce Act(a recent bill attempt that was horrid enough in it's original form) revisions suggested by the U.S. Copyright Office. The U.S. Copyright Office wanted to null the Universal vs. Sony decision by law revision! The Sony Vs. Universal decision is what allows the existance and use of time-shifting device(s) such as VCRs.

    People cry/rant about DVD-A and SACD not appearing to be of sufficient demand, and it may very well fall into the cracks and be relenquished to an audiophile format much like vinyl is today. But you can only blame the idiots pushing this stuff, for they refuse to make it useful such as the *old* format: RBCD. RBCD is versatile-- you can use the data to transfer to portable players, make backups or copy directly to your HD or just send the raw data stream(s) to external DACs of your choice; you are not restrictced by any DRM scheme(s).

    Why would I(or anyone) want to give up ALL OF THESE THINGS just to have SACD and/or DVD-A a standard that replaces RBCD?

    In 1992 the Home Recording Act was passed in the USA allowing copying of any audio, digitally or analog for personal use(s). This was challenged later by the RIAA(RIAA vs. Rio) and the RIAA lost. I believe that today this act needs to be extended to video material. Why should we be limited to our use(s)? Why can't I use(legally) one of those video playback portable hard drive pylayers to also play movies that I have ripped much like a CD? Why do I have to restrict my use(s) of video material(s) in a way that is different from audio material(s)? But it must be remembered that even this is over-ruled by the DMCA(a bad law for citizens, plain and simple).

    The only bills I've seen suggested by heavyweight hitters of late are ones that would remove rights, not restore them -- laws that could even remove the right use MP3 players in a form that did not include DRM. Refer to the recent attempt to get the Induce Act passed.

    I've observed the the term 'copyright' being thrown around the media, and from the perspective portrayed it seems that it is intended that one should believe that the holders of this material have some ultimate right to dictate any way it is used. In reality, and based on the historical creation of copyrights: it is supposed to be a balanced issue. The origination of copyright was to meant to stimulate new creativity/work, but it is ultimately meant for public and cultural benefit. The user also has a legtimate right to use this data in any way that they see fit(portable players are just one good example). Users have a right to have working materials(something that many DRM schemes do not insure). Copyright is meant to stimulate production of useful things to culture! When you start to lose benefits, the balance is lost, as it is today. Let's take a look at the potential furture for our consumed media: Itunes -- you can't sell purchased music from the Apple Itunes store for which you paid. F**K, you can't even be assured *your* music will work in the future. It is authenticated by a key, of which will eventually expire after a number of computer transfers or if you move out of the country, if Apple decided to discontinue the Itunes service. etc.Fair? Balanced? Ha! Of what value is a work that you can not openly share or even be sure it will *exist* in the future? I am have little doubt that the big-time media distributors(a.k.a. scum) would love to see all material sold in this format that requires THEM to *allow* you to use your purchased product. Total control over your use(s). Yes, I know that you can remove the encryption or do a simple D-A-D process; but that's not the point. The issue is your rights.

    But what about the poor giant media conglomerates? They cry about lost sales or potential lost sales. 1st: you must realize that is not not my(or your) responsibility for the economic situation of a given entity. If their models are not sufficient to make money, they must re-invent them as does every other industry in the world! If they can't, they fail. But something that is of demand such as music or movies will never 'disappear', even if the current companies collapsed. It would simply result in a new set of production companies with revised marketing. But remember, regardless, you can't even take the cries of corporations as legitmate. The media companies fought ferociously the following things in the past and swore they would be the downfall of the industries: player pianos, radio, cassette tape recorders, vcrs and mp3 players. MP3 players are still a pretty recent thing, but all of the others are *played out*. You can sit back and observe the result(s) and validities of the original complaint(s). Their forecasts/claims were all but so much empty hot air and ultimately resulted in additional profits. And what if, in an instance, they had valid claims for lost money or collapse? Well, then you usher in the new/revised marketing system -- you don't have the right to provide life support to your failing(UNWANTED BY YOUR CONSUMERS BECAUSE OF AN AGING ECONOMIC STRUCTURE) industry by way of mandated law.

    Okay, enough ranting for the moment. As is probably obvious, the issue of copyrights and their relation to media is something gets me going. :)

    -Chris
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2004
    WmAx,
  6. Rob Babcock Moderator

    Rob Babcock
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    A good example of this mess is the way the RIAA has attacked used CD sales. In their mind, apparently, you only rent the music when you buy the disc! Having failed to get any court to buy into their ludicrous theory, they've responded by pulling coop advertising money from any store that sells used CDs.

    A classic case of chasing nickels rolling on the floor while leaving dollars on the table.
  7. WmAx Audioholic Samurai

    WmAx
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    Because of their actions, I sincerely hope that the big-five of the RIAA collapse/bankrupt.

    Besides, if independant labels starting having to provide much of the music, imagine the new and actual talented artists of which the public would be exposed? I also, somehow, doubt that *artists* such as Britney Spears and the like would be able to rake in anywhere near the amount they currently enjoy if a large sample of talented artists were available. I mean, we would lack the forced choice(s) of the RIAA upon us....

    -Chris
    WmAx,
  8. Steve1000 Audioholic

    Steve1000
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    Rant #2:

    Article I, Section 8, Clause 8 of the U.S. Constitution: The Congress shall have power...

    To promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited
    times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings
    and discoveries....

    ______________________

    I personally don't find much entertainment to fall under the rubric of science or useful arts. If Congress was not meant to decide what was and was not useful, the founding fathers would not have put the word "useful" in the Constitution. The founding fathers would have just said arts. The word useful is very conspicuous in there. There should be a burden on each songwriter or musician or recording company or movie company to show usefulness for each work.

    A copyright should be the exception rather than the rule. (Of course, this is a far far cry from current law.) Copyrights and patents are narrowly crafted (but now cavernous, gaping) exceptions to the intended innovative scheme of the U.S. Constitution where flow of ideas and information is free from impediment, rooted in the ideals of democracy, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. I think the whole recorded copyright performance music and video scenario is a huge mistake and a huge problem in our society. As far as "intellectual property" goes, the nation is well on its way to becoming a police state, at the behest of the very rich.

    Notice that making copyright and patent law very narrow would not in any way infringe on free speech or expression... one could still say virtually anything or perform virtually any music or make virtually any movie and still have their expression constitutionally protected.

    The problem has come in companies making huge profits in entertainment that is not only not useful but is detrimental to society. The scenario should be sure, go ahead and make your despicable and crass movie or music. Just don't expect to get a copyright for it. It's not a useful art, not even close.

    What we now call "intellectual property" was not meant to be property, and it was primarily intended to benefit society (i.e., the average joe), not the individual artists or large commercial interests. This much the Supreme Court got right in the Betamax case. Thank goodness.

    I think nearly all people would disagree with me. The whole concept is
    completely foreign to our ingrained way of thinking. We've been brainwashed into thinking that if we copy a CD we are somehow being immoral. At most, we're exceeding the speed limit on a barren highway by a few miles per hour. It's malum prohibitum (merely againt the law because that's the rule) rather than malum in se (against the law because it's morally wrong). This would obviously cause a radical restructuring of the music and entertainment industry and intellectual property law. There would be a race to make the music and the movies.... USEFUL. Not pornographic, not violent, not shocking... USEFUL. Otherwise, no copyright! Can you imagine? My way is not gonna happen anyway so it's purely a hypothetical argument. It just shows you where I'm coming from.

    In my view Congress has no authority (all of its authority must ultimately derive from the Constitution) to grant copyrights for anything other than the purpose of promoting the sciences and USEFUL arts. NONE. We should be
    arguing over what is useful and what is art, that is the relevant argument in my view, that is how you get copyright law to benefit society as much as the corporations and so-called artists. The blanket implied copyright of nearly every useless piece of written or recorded expression in our country is in my view absurd and is a tremendous and unproductive drain on our legal system.

    Let these folks compete in the market place with no government sponsored legal copyright protection. That's what it is, it's the goverment using taxpayer money to intervene on behalf of undeserving private parties to inhibit the dissemination of relatively useless information ostensibly at the behest of society.
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2004
  9. WmAx Audioholic Samurai

    WmAx
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    When I discussed this issue with you a few months ago, my first reaction was that you were extreme. But as I take the effort to think about the logic of the system and it's intended purpose, I largely agree with you at this point.

    If the copyright system persists in the current direction, I am confident that we will be operating within a police state style system -- except that big-brother will be the RIAA and MPAA.

    -Chris
    WmAx,
  10. Rob Babcock Moderator

    Rob Babcock
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    I think that goes to far, mostly because that would set up a police state. Who would be the final arbiter of what's "useful" to society? Jerry Fallwell? President Bush? Micheal Moore? I feel a cold chill run up my spine when I think of how "useful", "normal", "healthy", etc would be defined in a legal sense.

    That said, I doubt our current system of copyrights was what the founders had in mind. Definately too broad. There was no type of copyright protection whatsoever before the last century and a half or so, yet almost every great work of literature was written then. I guess lack of royalties had littel effect on literary output! ;)
  11. Steve1000 Audioholic

    Steve1000
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    A fine point... but....

    A determination of what was useful and what was art would just be for the purpose of who gets a copyright, who gets the big bucks, and it would shell out only IF in addition there is a demand for it in the market.

    Any art form not protected by copyright would still be protected to circulate through commerce and society by the Constitutionally protected freedoms of speech, association, etc. In fact, the stuff that the government did NOT protect by copyright would be much more free-flowing. Ironically, if it were truly a useful art and the government made a mistake in not protecting it, it would sell at a lower price or be free for the asking and spread through society like wildfire. From a public good standpoint, there is really very little to lose.

    Right now, Congress abdicates its responsibility entirely by presuming that in every case it is ALL USEFUL and ART. If you like this current system, speak up!

  12. Rob Babcock Moderator

    Rob Babcock
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    I think your view presupposes that "useful arts" is another word for "science." Art is useful in and of itself. At any rate, if copyright only goes to "useful" things, someone still must decide what is useful. I don't like the government deciding who'll get those "big bucks." Will Bill Gates products be deemed "useful," while a more innovative competitor is determined not to merit copyright protection? Oh of course, though, Gates would far too honorable to use his billions to try to sway the process. ;)

    Certainly there'd be very few professional artists without copyright. Things are obviously much different than back at the advent of moveable type. There'd be little incentive to invest much money in creation of, say, a $100 mil movie, if I could buy it on DVD, dupe it & legally sell all the copies I wanted. It's obvious that the creator (who had to pay to finance the film) could never profitably sell it for the same price as someone who merely paid $15 for the DVD and $100 for a DVD burner.

    At any rate, my main disagreement is that your interpretation of the Constitution is predicated on a fallacy routinely used to undermine the 2nd Amendment; that is the misinterpretation of the rules of grammar. The first part of the sentence may explain the intent but doesn't limit the second part. For example, I may write in my will, "Steve1000, being my good and true pal, shall receive my stamp collection upon my death." Now, a time may come to pass when we're not good and true pals, but unless I later modify my will, then it's still binding. The document is valid even if the first circumstance changes.

    If my interpretation is correct, then something merits copyright if it's original (or in the case of patent, sufficiently novel as to advance beyond any previous similar technologies). By granting everything that meets this criterion copyright you no longer need arbitrary and dangerous subjective rulings on what is "useful."

    Although I bet that won't sit very well with AV_Phile... ;) :p
  13. furrycute Banned

    furrycute
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    How much does one of these units cost? I certainly like the idea of having my entire DVD library at a touch of my fingertips.
  14. Steve1000 Audioholic

    Steve1000
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    I enjoy your posts! They are well-thought-out!

    Read it again:
    _______________

    Article I, Section 8, Clause 8 of the U.S. Constitution: The Congress shall have power...

    To promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited
    times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings
    and discoveries....

    ---------------

    Your grammatical analysis is correct, and it's a nice point, but your conclusions (for example, that a writing need only be original to be protected by copyright) are not logically necessary from the grammar and meaning of the words. It is one of many possible logically consistent implementations of the words and it is the interpretation currently in effect. Do you like the law as it is?

    As I'm sure you know, applications for patents are judged on criteria far more strict than mere originality, under powers derived from exactly the same language of the Constitution. As it has played out, patents are generally the system for promoting science while copyrights are generally the system for promoting useful arts, though there is some cross-play.

    We as a nation should be debating what is useful (which you are now doing) and what is art (which would be another productive discusssion) and what sort of scheme promotes the useful arts, and develop a set of laws that first and foremost promotes the useful arts. That, undebatably, is what the framers intended.

    It is reasonable to be wary, as you are, of the government making calls on individual works, but currently the government is through our legal copyright system sponsoring monopoly profits on hateful speech, pornography, writings on how to kill and torture people, etc, etc. etc., in the name of promoting the sciences and useful arts. And currently the government makes all sorts of determinations as to what types of art it will and will not sponsor through schools, museums, awards, grants, scholarships, etc. etc.

    Free speech is one thing, and is to be defended to the death; state sponsorship ensuring high profits (through our legal system and resulting in overburdening our legal system) of huge companies disseminating worthless, hateful, gratuitously violent, pornographic and destructive information through our copyright system is something else altogether.

    Protect the speech, yes; honor the speaker with a private monopoly, no.

    Perhaps there could be a strong rebuttable presumption of artistic merit and usefulness in favor of the author, and the government could withhold a copyright for those works that were clearly and convincingly not useful and not art, even if they were original. Just as for patents, the determinations could be appealed up through the federal court system. I think it's a discussion worth having.

    And as I say, if the government makes a mistake, it's not the end of the world. It's just a matter of allocation of a temporary state-sponsored monopoly over an individual work. The work could still be sold on the open market. The debate would be ongoing and useful and lively -- what is useful and what is art. I think it's time this nation reads the Constitution and has that discussion.

    Think about it -- an original Van Gogh is not copyrighted but still holds its value pretty well.

    Congress has broad (and under the Sony Betamax case and Constitutional law in general, as you say, permissive rather than restrictive) powers for the purposes of promoting the sciences and useful arts, and has gone badly astray from the purposes for which these powers were granted.

    I am pleased, anyway, that you are aware of this language in the Constitution and are now thinking about what is useful and what is art.

    Last edited: Dec 11, 2004

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