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Video Juke Box Supplier Cleared

4 Apr, 2007 By: Jessica Wolf

Home theater company Kaleidescape has beaten the DVD Copy Control Association in California Superior Court.

Last week, Judge Leslie C. Nichols of the Santa Clara Superior Court ruled that Kaleidescape is in compliance with the DVD Copy Control Association's license to the Content Scramble System (CSS).

In his decision, Judge Nichols noted Kaleidescape's good faith efforts to ensure that it is in compliance with CSS.

“The company, far from attempting to do anything bad, seems to have internal procedures to carry out what they say they're trying to do, which is to proceed in an entirely compliant, lawful and ethical way,” he wrote.

Kaliedescape manufacturers a $30,000 home theater network system with a “juke box” that allows users to copy, store and disseminate commercial DVDs. DVD and CD content that Kaleidescape users own and load into their home server provided by the company cannot be shared or distributed via the Internet.

“Kaleidescape has been operating in the shadow of the DVD CC's allegations for over three years,” said Michael Malcolm, founder, chairman and CEO of Kaleidescape, in a statement. “We are gratified that after hearing all of the evidence, the judge has completely vindicated our position.”

In 2004, the DVD Copy Control Association slapped Kaleidescape with a breach of contract lawsuit.

Since 2002, Mountain View, Calif.-based Kaleidescape had procured licenses with the association to allow its system to navigate the CSS copy-protection code, and copy and store content from a commercial DVD onto its server.

According to terms of the agreement, licensed manufacturers were prohibited from producing and selling products that thwarted any CSS protections, including the one requiring the user to have the original DVD in the drive during authentication and playback.

In the complaint, the association alleged that content copied to the Kaleidescape server remained playable without the physical presence of the original DVD and thus constituted a breach of the CSS license.

In a statement released following the court ruling March 30, William Sloan Coats, the attorney for DVD CCA, said the group will likely appeal the decision.

“In its contract with DVD CCA, Kaleidescape — like all CSS licensees — agreed to use CSS for its intended purpose: preventing users from making copies of copy-protected material,” he said. “Kaleidescape's system does the opposite — it facilitates the copying of CSS-protected DVDs onto a hard drive so content can be viewed without the original disk. We will evaluate our options for next steps and then make a final decision. But, an appeal is expected.”

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