Hollywood targets DVD-copying upstart

The movie industry is training its legal guns on a new target: a small start-up that lets people make copies of their DVDs. On Thursday, seven major movie studios filed a countersuit in federal court in San Francisco, claiming that 321 Studios is violating the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) by selling its DVD Copy Plus and DVD-Xcopy programs. The studios filed the claim in response to 321 Studios, which in April took the unusual step of asking a federal court to declare its copying products legitimate because they would allow people to make personal copies of DVDs they already own--a process the company claimed is allowed under a doctrine known as fair use. 321's president said at the time that he asked for the legal opinion after reading press accounts in which the studios threatened the company

The studios did not follow through on those threats until Thursday, a few weeks after 321 Studios released DVD-Xcopy, which allows people to make an exact duplicate of a DVD. Copy Plus, which went on sale last year, results in lower-quality copies. In the complaint, the studios said that 321 representatives "market and sell this illegal software and exhort and encourage the copying of (the studios' encryption-protected) copyrighted motion pictures that are embodied on DVDs." The studios claimed 321's actions caused them "grave and irreparable harm."

The studios are seeking an injunction prohibiting 321 from selling or manufacturing its DVD-copying products and are asking the court to order the company to turn over to the studios "all computer disks, computer drives and other physical objects embodying all, or any part," of DVD Copy Plus and DVD-Xcopy so they can be destroyed.

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News source: c|net

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