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Re: [dvd-discuss] banned software on sale in compusa

At 05:18 PM 12/19/2002 -0700, John Zulauf wrote:

>Compare and contrast:
>"Our view is that any product or service that
>  circumvents the copyright protection scrambling
>  technology on DVDs" opens the door to criminal
>  prosecution under the 1998 Digital Millennium
>  Copyright Act, said Marta Grutka, spokeswoman for
>  the Motion Picture Association of America."
>"The studios have not responded to the suit, but
>  instead filed a motion to dismiss it on grounds that
>  there is no current dispute between the industry and
>  321 Studios."
>"The MPAA, which represents the movie studios
>  named in the suit, has repeatedly declined to
>  comment on 321 Studios' products because of the
>  suit. Grutka, the group's spokeswoman, would only
>  comment in general terms about provisions in the
>  DMCA that make it a criminal offense to use
>  technology to circumvent the industry-standard
>  scrambling system that prevents copying of a DVD
>  movie. "
>Now somebody help me here.  How can there be "no current dispute" and
>the organization representing the movie studios holding that 321's
>actions are illegal.  Aren't there some ethics standards that prevent
>claiming no dispute, when in fact that same party's representation
>claims (and states publicly) to have grounds to press criminal charges
>against the other?
>IANAL. Help Mr. Wizard!!!!

John, John, John, you suffer from short term memory loss.  ;-)

MPAA often takes cues from RIAA, if only because the record biz has been 
around a lot longer.

Remember when Matt Oppenheim of RIAA wrote what was unquestionably a threat 
letter to Ed Felten et al?

Remember when we took them up on the threat, filed our own decl. relief action?

Remember when RIAA promptly backtracked, "no, it wasn't a real threat, 
there's no real controversy here"?

Remember when the court bought it?

Precedent, baby, precedent.

(I hope you weren't expecting a more formal answer, grounded squarely in 
textbook law.  This is the real world, not law school.)

James S. Tyre                               mailto:jstyre@jstyre.com
Law Offices of James S. Tyre          310-839-4114/310-839-4602(fax)
10736 Jefferson Blvd., #512               Culver City, CA 90230-4969
Co-founder, The Censorware Project             http://censorware.net