Sept. 18, 2003
Media contact: Robin Gross IP Justice Executive Director
Movie Studios Attack Distributors of DVD Copying Software
New DMCA Lawsuit Filed to Prevent Fair Use of DVD Movies
Hollywood's latest legal attack under the controversial Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) came on September 17 with a complaint filed in New York Federal Court against four companies that distribute software capable of copying DVDs.
Paramount Pictures and 20th Century Fox sued for an injunction and unspecified damages against Tritton Technologies, QOJ, World Reach, and Pronto Ventures for distributing software that allows consumers to make lawful back-up copies and other fair uses of their DVD movies. Under the DMCA, providing tools including software that could help someone to make a fair use copy of a DVD movie is illegal.
"This case will extend legal liability under the DMCA to third-party distributors of legitimate consumer software products," said Robin Gross, Executive Director of IP Justice, a civil liberties group that promotes balanced intellectual property
laws. "The distribution of software that enables the exercise of our fair use rights must remain lawful if our rights are to have meaning in a digital world," she added.
Other distributors of the DVD copying software are CompUSA and Buy.com, but the Hollywood studios only sued a few smaller companies in order to more easily set the general legal precedent under the DMCA against third-party software distributors.
This case is similar to two other lawsuits pending in California and the United Kingdom between major film companies and 321 Studios for creating DVD copying software. 321 Studio's software allows people to copy home movies onto DVDs and make lawful fair uses of their own DVD movies. But Hollywood studios have asked courts to prevent the software's distribution because it could be used to make infringing copies as well as lawful ones. Now, in addition to going after software creators, the studios are pursuing third-party distributors of software as well.
Legal Complaint Against Software Distributors:
Studios' Memorandum of Law Filed in Support of Preliminary Injunction:
Tritton Technologies Website:
World Reach Website:
Current information on anti-circumvention issues:
IP Justice is an international civil liberties organization that promotes balanced intellectual property law. IP Justice defends individual rights to use digital media worldwide and is a registered California non-profit organization. IP Justice was founded in 2002 by Robin D. Gross, who serves as its Executive Director. To learn more about IP Justice, visit the website at http://www.ipjustice.org