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MPAA Settles With 321 Studios

10 Aug, 2004 By: Holly J. Wagner

The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) has settled its differences with defunct 321 Studios, a company that made DVD and game copying software. The company closed down after a handful of court orders barred it from selling its products.

Complete terms of the settlement with the motion picture companies were not disclosed, but 321 Studios and its founders “agreed to cease selling illegal DVD copying software on a worldwide basis” and “will also be making a substantial financial payment to the motion picture studios,” according to an MPAA spokesperson. Money from the settlement will be donated to the motion picture industry's antipiracy education program to raise awareness about illegal copying and the impact of copyright theft.

“321 Studios built its business on the flawed premise that it could profit from violating the motion picture studios' copyrights; the courts have been amply clear — there is no leniency for violating federal copyright laws. Now that the company's illegal copying software is off of store shelves worldwide, we have moved to settle the case,” said MPAA president and CEO Jack Valenti. “This is not the end of the story in our massive fight against piracy, and we will use the settlement money to educate consumers about the tremendous harm that illegal copying inflicts on one of America's greatest products — motion pictures.”

Several studios sued 321 starting in April 2002. After the first court order barring sales of its DVD X-Copy software, the company issued a “ripper free” version. In the American cases earlier this year, two Federal courts ordered 321 to stop selling software that circumvented copyright protections on DVDs. A hearing was pending in a case in the United Kingdom The settlement closes all three of the cases in California, New York and the United Kingdom.

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