Class action lawsuit against anti piracy measures? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 20 Old 09-10-2007, 08:59 PM - Thread Starter
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With all the people that have to buy extra software and hardware to comply with hdcp and all the problems and failures of this hardware to even work once you try to comply how possible would a class action lawsuit be and who would you sue?

People are having to buy anydvd software, hdcp strippers, edid buffers, drop nearly new hdtv's, etc etc just to play their legal stuff.

This is just not right... Every day there are tons of people affected and these are the all legal law abiding consumers who are just trying to do legal stuff. The hours and hours of work to get a pc just to do what you want is insane and unfair. Not to mention the abuse of fair use and immoral monopoly on dvd archiving that the kalaidescape people have that stops others from being able to fairly compete in this area. Plus how it has affected the pricing of all hardware and software that has to comply and how it singles out open source stuff from being able to compete...

We should lead the charge against whoever is to blame and make them pay big time and force them to change their evil ways.

This is all holding back progress of technology too.

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post #2 of 20 Old 09-10-2007, 09:26 PM
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Who's to blame? The content providers want their content protected, and the electronics and computer/OS manufacturers have to comply if they want to tap into that market. You can really only blame the content providers.

Nobody is beholden to facilitate your fair use. You can use it as a defense in a copyright infringement suit, but content providers are perfectly within their rights to prevent you from making copies of any kind via technical means. In my opinion, you should be able to legally circumvent those means (turnabout is fair play) but unfortunately the content providers (among others) have Washington in their pockets.

In the end, there's really not much you can do. If you want to make a stand, don't buy the content if its DRM doesn't meet your needs. They're just movies - hard to argue they're some super important necessity worthy of invoking socialist anti-monopoly laws over.
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post #3 of 20 Old 09-10-2007, 10:04 PM
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I share your frustration, but don't see what the basis would be for a class action lawsuit. The free market seems to take care of any anti-piracy measures. Look at how easy it is to copy a "normal" DVD. As soon as HD DVD / Blu Ray become more mainstream all anti-piracy measures will be defeated. It is easy to forget that High Definition formats still make up very little of the media market.
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post #4 of 20 Old 09-10-2007, 10:33 PM
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Originally Posted by redondoman View Post

As soon as HD DVD / Blu Ray become more mainstream all anti-piracy measures will be defeated.

Will ????? 1st protection is already been defeated.

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post #5 of 20 Old 09-11-2007, 08:20 AM
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The anti piracy measures do cause problems even you don't intent to watch HD content. I am using 8500GT with my HTPC on my 6 year old RPTV and because of HDCP handshaking problem between 8500GT and the TV, I can not use the system very smoothly. I agree that the content provider should protect their production for piracy. However this should not be implemented in the way that impact ordinary people's daily life. They should follow whomever who makes the piracy.
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post #6 of 20 Old 09-11-2007, 09:08 AM
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Join the dark side of the force. Buy your HD disc and rip them and financially support the anti DRM side, much cheaper then an Class Action lawsuit. As long as you can rip your legal discs you should be able to play them back. It is a typical supply and demand issue. If hassle free HD playback is the demand someone will supply it and it may not be Disney or Fox.
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post #7 of 20 Old 09-11-2007, 09:54 AM - Thread Starter
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Yes even if you do nothing with blueray and hd-dvd people are still affected daily. Anyone who buys a computer from now on is affected, a tv you're affected, watch cable with hd you're affected, it's impossible to avoid unless you consider all this just acceptable and none of this technology important to you. Fact is computers have become a necessity of life and people that have kids either have them or leave their kids to work at McDonalds etc for the rest of their lives. This stuff is not optional. Even businesses who do not use entertainment are affected.

It is tempting to boycott legal ways of doing things and turning to the darknet, but that doesn't really teach anyone anything or help the problems that just reassures them they've done the right thing.

Entertainment you may think of as optional, but the technology may not be so optional. Even still TV and entertainment is a huge part of the American way of life.

Protection of ones works is one thing, but to have protections that affect everyone who doesn't even want that content and everyone who ever buys a computer and HDTV for any other purpose tells me they have gone too far.

It truly does leave open source at a disadvantage, and creates illegal monopolies, and "strangle holds" on the market, and improperly interferes with technology progressing.

I think there's genuine grounds to fight back and win big. This is one of those things that would be appealed and drug all the way to the Supreme court though even if it won the first few rounds.

They should not be allowed to implement protections that go beyond the content itself. And such protections should not lead to monopoly opportunities like what kalaedescape has taken advantage of, where they are the only ones who can legally archive dvd's.

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post #8 of 20 Old 09-11-2007, 10:13 AM
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I strongly urge everyone buying a disc and finding they cannot play it for any reason to attempt to return it to the store, who may or not accept it back. But if enough people make the attempt it will send a very strong message.

And there may even be some liability since I don't thing restrictions are printed on the outside of any cases.

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post #9 of 20 Old 09-11-2007, 10:29 AM
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Actually, I agree with you on most of this in principle... but I still don't see any legal grounds for taking it to court. "TV and entertainment is a huge part of the American way of life", while it may be accurate, will not win any judges over.

Where's the monopoly? A class action suit and an antitrust case are very different animals. Class actions have to show consumer harm; antitrust have to show ability and collusion to lock everyone else out of the market-- the advent and huge popularity of online stuff up to and including Youtube implies that there is no one being locked out of the entertainment market. Not gonna happen. You could imply that locking out open source will make Microsoft a monopoly, perhaps... get in line. You're at the back of that queue. Plus, the content owners would merely pull out an HD DVD player which is built on Linux, and suddenly the "open source disadvantage" argument would look much less compelling.

I despise DRM for many reasons-- mainly being that it's ineffective and cumbersome-- but it's exceedingly hard to build "annoying and useless" into a court case. HD DVD and Blu-ray (and even DVD) are not central enough to life to get on the docket of a Superior Court, let alone the Supreme.

Now breaking DRM, and calling into question the constitutionality of the DMCA... that might go there. But a commercial entity making it so difficult to copy it's material that is starts making it a pain for legitimate consumers to use their purchased equipment... Not seeing where you're gonna get anywhere with this. It's not what courts of law were designed to do. If it was food, clothing, or shelter, you might have a chance in hell. For "mere" entertainment... having a hard time seeing it fly.

Tom's suggestion is much more likely to have an effect. Hit them with what they care about: cash.

(On the other hand, we have congressional hearings on baseball strikes, so obviously sanity does not reign in Washington... maybe you're right!)

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post #10 of 20 Old 09-11-2007, 10:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trbarry View Post

I strongly urge everyone buying a disc and finding they cannot play it for any reason to attempt to return it to the store, who may or not accept it back. But if enough people make the attempt it will send a very strong message.

And there may even be some liability since I don't thing restrictions are printed on the outside of any cases.

- Tom

Good advice. The only problem is that the return needs to be documented in a way that will allow the manufacturer to know what the problem is. There are so many items returned that work perfectly well because the customer has no idea how to use it and they return under the guise of it "not working."

It's the job of the salesman to give honest and accurate product info and let the customer decide if it fits their needs.
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post #11 of 20 Old 09-11-2007, 11:52 AM
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Originally Posted by pcCinema View Post

................................
Protection of ones works is one thing, but to have protections that affect everyone who doesn't even want that content and everyone who ever buys a computer and HDTV for any other purpose tells me they have gone too far.
...........................................
Troy

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________________________________________

If the picture quality of all standard defintion dvds was as good as 5th Element or Vertical Limit, etc., high-defintion DVDs would not be that compelling an option for most consumers - especially for those sitting 10+ feet from a 50" display. (BTW, the fact that the pq of many sd dvds is so terrible should warn us about the possible future HD pq - "digital quality", 1080p crap.)

At this point early in the life of HD disk promotion, consumers really are in the driver's seat. Because sales of sd dvds are still very strong, if sales of both HD formats tanked because of a consumer boycott, either HD disks would disappear, or HDCP would. Because of the amount of money that the big boys have already invested in HD, and the amount of potential profit to be fleeced from consumers who will yet again replicate their movie libraries in HD, I would be surprised if it were the former.

So rather than trying to assemble consumers for some sort of law suit, potential HD consumers should simply boycott HD disks that employ HDCP. I have not bought a single HD disk yet, so I've already done my part. Ironically, it is the high-def early adopters who have been up to this point the movie industry/distributor's HDCP "enablers".

If those that control such things really want to prevent the vast majority of copying, all they have to do is somehow keep blank media cost close to that of the typical movie disk. Of course this would not stop copying to hard drives, but computer-savy folks are already doing that in spite of HDCP.
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post #12 of 20 Old 09-11-2007, 12:14 PM
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Originally Posted by bullgates View Post

Good advice. The only problem is that the return needs to be documented in a way that will allow the manufacturer to know what the problem is. There are so many items returned that work perfectly well because the customer has no idea how to use it and they return under the guise of it "not working."

This may be true, but it is still at a cost to the vendor.

The problem with software (movies included) is that you typically can not return it, you have to exchange it for the same item. Of course doing that 10 times may also add to the message. I don't think there is much or a market for Refurbished media

Brian
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post #13 of 20 Old 09-11-2007, 05:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Briands View Post

This may be true, but it is still at a cost to the vendor.

The problem with software (movies included) is that you typically can not return it, you have to exchange it for the same item. Of course doing that 10 times may also add to the message. I don't think there is much or a market for Refurbished media

Yes, they may expect you to exchange it. But explain very carefully you are willing to exchange it as many times as needed until it works, and the reasons you do not believe it works. I have found doing this sort of thing works best if you do that explaining in a calm but relatively loud voice that other customers can overhear. Repeat loudly and often that because of excessive copy protection you don't believe it will play on your system.

You might also explain that if they fail to return or exchange it then your policy is to not be bound to any shrink wrap license they have thoughtfully enclosed since there is obviously no meeting of the minds.

Finally, there is still an exclusion in the DMCA for 'computer interoperability'. This can basically be interpreted that, if something legally acquired won't play, you can find ways to make it play. I don't think the courts have ever tested this either way.

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post #14 of 20 Old 09-11-2007, 06:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jvrobert View Post

Nobody is beholden to facilitate your fair use. You can use it as a defense in a copyright infringement suit, but content providers are perfectly within their rights to prevent you from making copies of any kind via technical means.

Not so fast there. Just because fair use is an affirmative defense does not mean it is not also a right on 1st amendment grounds.

Ya'll might find this analysis to be eye-opening.

Copyright is not property, it is merely a temporary loan from the public domain.
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post #15 of 20 Old 09-11-2007, 08:09 PM - Thread Starter
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That's a whole lot of legal BS if you ask me... Hardly anyone will read all that so let me summarize what was in RED and the point of it all as far as I can see. It comes down to this:

And I quote:
""[T]he author's consent to a reasonable use of his copyrighted works ha[d] always been implied by the courts as a necessary incident of the constitutional policy of promoting the progress of science and the useful arts, since a prohibition of such use would inhibit subsequent writers from attempting to improve upon prior works and thus . . . frustrate the very ends sought to be attained."

This is exactly the holding back technology I spoke of. The precedent is set.

Am I wrong in interpreting it this way?

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post #16 of 20 Old 09-11-2007, 09:27 PM
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I agree, the entire HD-protection scheme is absurd and downright un-American. This and other similar protectionist scheming (i.e. the cable-card availability only on "approved PC" platforms only) is designed to limit freedoms... namely our freedom to use things we've purchased. The sad part is by being so fascist these companies create and drive the underground black market (black-net) to bypass their ridiculous "protections."

In the long run the content-corporations cost themselves money by antagonizing people to the point where it is easier and preferable to just "share" content than it is to buy it. To this day it's much easier to download "illegal" MP3's than it is to download them for a fee. Hell, they even insist if you do pay for them that you put up with encryptions and limits to how you can use them. They're greedy nuts! Had they simply charged a nickle for every downloaded MP3 they would have made huge piles of cash! They got what they deserve.

The sad part is that those most able to afford the HD technology easily bypass the corporate imposed roadblocks and those that can't end up being extorted by the content providers. I believe the basis of these schemes is to limit the access to all technology by common Americans... it's a new technology caste that they are designing and constructing and the latest form of class warfare.

I do think laws will eventually come down hard on these oppressive schemes once the American working slob starts to realize how rapidly they are being marginalized in the new world order. That or they will capitulate and become relegated to eternal servitude at corporate shrines such as McDonalds... or worse... Wal Mart. I'm not sure they will ever be able to step back and recognize their plight. if they do look out!

One thing for sure is that the battle lines will be drawn on the black net. The front line will continue to be the content provider's vs the tech-savvy educated consumer that refuses to be bullied and demands to exercise their rights (fair-use). The HD-war will likely closely parallel the battle between the RIAA and pirate MP3 down-loaders. The real interesting thing will be to see how our country deals with the criminalization of wide swaths of the American middle class (by forcing them to become criminals when they bypass content encryptions)... it's a recipe for political upheaval. It'll be a very interesting historical side note if the Internet (i.e. MP3s, HD, DVD, etc) is the driving force behind the next American Revolution.
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post #17 of 20 Old 09-11-2007, 09:36 PM
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I think you are. What it's saying is that an author's right to copyright is limited and the work must eventually return to the public domain; this is in the context of "re-copyrighting" what had once fallen into the public domain... nothing here is said about works which are currently in copyright.

Plus, this is a paralegal, not a lawyer. That's one step closer to a courtroom than I am, so I suppose I shouldn't complain on those grounds. But the quote you cite specifically relates to the fair use of materials from an academic or allusive perspective (i.e. advancement of the arts and sciences) not the wholesale breaking of encryption or copying. This is in the strawman context of a DRM strong enough to prevent any access at all-- which is legal to break now anyway for academic purposes by professors in university classrooms based on the 2006 ruling by the Librarian of Congress. So there's no law, currently, which prevents any access at all. Legal scholars can debate, but the Supreme Courts of the last couple of decades have taken rather narrow rulings of what the law says now rather than what it could say if current trends continue.

You're closer, but this is still very far from the basis of a class-action suit. As I said before, cracking the DMCA on First Amendment grounds is plausible, but a class-action suit is a civil (not criminal) matter and has different criteria for success or failure.

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post #18 of 20 Old 09-11-2007, 10:10 PM
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Quote:


the quote you cite specifically relates to the fair use of materials from an academic or allusive perspective (i.e. advancement of the arts and sciences) not the wholesale breaking of encryption or copying.

Don't infer too much, "advancement of the arts and sciences" is the sole constitutional basis for copyright in the first place. There is no other legitimate context.

Copyright is not property, it is merely a temporary loan from the public domain.
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post #19 of 20 Old 09-11-2007, 10:20 PM
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True enough.

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post #20 of 20 Old 09-11-2007, 10:23 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mnn1265 View Post

They're greedy nuts! Had they simply charged a nickle for every downloaded MP3 they would have made huge piles of cash! They got what they deserve.

I don't agree with much of what you said but this part is right on the money. They'd be quite literally swimming in cash if they'd have handled this all properly. Nobody would have ever started pirating in large scale if legal purchase and download were as easy, cheap, and open as it should have been. People would have beat down their doors loading up on all kinds of crap, no matter how bad most of it is. They would have all built up extensive collections if the cost had been trivial and those nickels would stack up so fast you wouldn't believe it.

Some people would argue that it's expensive to serve all these files. I'd say in return that they could have used a BT arrangement and served up very little themselves, just handled the handshaking to start the BT type transfer after the nickel was authorized.

They're not just greedy they're paranoid Idiots!

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