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After RealDVD and Kaleidescape: What's in store for DVD Ripping?
Breaking down the two key DVD ripping cases: What do they mean?

What are the RealDVD and Kaleidescape lawsuits really about? Who is suing them for their DVD ripping products? And what will the cases mean once they have finally been settled?

There has been much confusion about these lawsuits. Here, we try to clarify them.


Kaleidescape is being sued for copyright infringement

Not true. The current dispute is only about breach of contract, and the company has not been targeted on copyright-infringement grounds. The current status is that a key portion of Kaleidescape's CSS licensing agreement that may possibly suggest breach of contract is now allowed to be considered by the courts. Whether or not Kaleidescape actually breached won't be known probably for a couple of years.

A Kaleidescape victory means it's legal to rip DVDs

Not exactly. If Kaleidescape wins, it means the company has complied with its DVD CCA licensing agreement, i.e., that it is not circumventing CSS copyright-protection schemes. If it is not circumventing, then it is not liable under the DMCA; however, not all licensed manufacturers of DVD ripping products have the same CSS licensing agreement that Kaleidescape has, so a win for Kaleidescape is not necessarily a win for all DVD CCA licensees.

Prospects for Kaleidescape could be grim if you consider the Real ruling. It suggests that, if all of the DVD CCA license agreements are binding on Kaleidescape, then making copies of protected DVDs is prohibited: "That Real is a licensee to the CSS License Agreement is irrelevant to this analysis because the CSS License Agreement does not give license to copy DVD content to a hard drive permanently."

And, of course, a positive ruling for Kaleidescape does not OK DVD-ripping products from companies that don't have a license with the DVD CCA. Such products are almost certainly illegal under the DMCA.

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