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Upstart Releases New DVD Copying Software

13 Nov, 2002 By: Holly J. Wagner

321 Studios, maker of a controversial DVD copying software, today released its DVD X Copy software package, which lets users to back up their DVD collections to DVD-Rs and DVD-RWs

without losing any quality from the original DVD.

"DVD X Copy is a totally new way for consumers to backup their DVD movies," stated Robert Moore, founder and president of Berkeley, Calif.-based 321 Studios. "For the first time, users can copy the entire DVD as a mirror image of the original, including menus and special features and, in doing so, fix any scratches from the original to the copy."

DVD X Copy software insures one's DVD movie collection against scratching, heat damage and other problems destined to reduce favorite movies to unplayable pieces of plastic. Users can make backup copies of their DVD movies with DVD X Copy using nothing more than a DVD burner and blank DVD media, Moore said.

The new version improves on a previous iteration of the software, which copied the movie only.

Users install DVD X Copy, place the DVD movie into their DVD-ROM drive, insert a blank DVD RW in their DVD burner, and click the "Copy Now" button. DVD X Copy copies the entire DVD movie and will play on an any home DVD player equipped to play DVD R and DVD RW media as well as on PCs with DVD drives.

Moore sued nine major movie studios in April, alleging they use piracy as a smokescreen to thwart the sale of the firm's software.

The complaint, filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, challenges the constitutionality of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and seeks a court order affirming its asserted right to continue selling DVD Copy Plus.

At the time, Moore contended the copies the earlier version of Copy Plus produces – transferred to video CDs -- are less-than-DVD-quality and that it couldn't copy many elements of DVDs, such as menu navigation and many special features. The new version is likely to exacerbate the dispute.

The complaint alleges MGM Studios, Tristar Pictures, Columbia Pictures, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Time Warner Entertainment, Disney Enterprises, Universal City Studios, The Saul Zaentz Company and Pixar Corp., acting in part under the auspices of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), have threatened to sue 321 Studios and claim that the sale of DVD Copy Plus is illegal under the DMCA.

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