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Lawsuit Invokes DMCA to Force DRM Adoption 332

Posted by Zonk
from the interesting-legal-tactic dept.
TechnicolourSquirrel writes "Forbes.com informs us that the company Media Rights Technologies is suing Microsoft, Apple, Adobe, and Real Networks for not using its DRM technology and therefore 'failing to include measures to control access to copyrighted material.' The company alleges that their refusal to use MRT's X1 Recording Control technology constitutes a 'circumvention' of a copyright protection system, which is of course illegal under the Digital Millenium Copryight Act. I would say more, but without controlling access to this paragraph with MRT's products, I fear I have already risked too much ..."
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Lawsuit Invokes DMCA to Force DRM Adoption

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  • by Spritzer (950539) * on Friday May 11, 2007 @09:06AM (#19082249) Journal
    ... ignore something so customer friendly and inviting as DCE [slashdot.org]!!!
    • Don't these companies realize how much they are harming consumers when they are slow to adopt these restricti^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H rights management technologies?
    • Herpes? [slashdot.org] I like the ring of "Lawsuit Invokes DMCA To Give You Herpes"

    • ... and if they don't like us calling DCE "Digital Consumer Exploitation," and they change the name/acronym again, we'll follow suit ... again.
  • by powerpants (1030280) * on Friday May 11, 2007 @09:07AM (#19082273)
    From Media Rights Techonologies' website:

    X1 provides the root source of copy protection. However sophisticated the upstream DRM systems used to govern the use of content are, none are able to control what happens between the rendering device and the sound card - what might be called "the digital hole". The X1 technology provides the governance mechanism for the digital hole and thus underpins the entire rights management structure.
    They also want control over your "digital hole". Where do I sign up?
    • by boilerbrown (1006617) <brownsc AT gmail DOT com> on Friday May 11, 2007 @09:09AM (#19082301)
      Ah how I love the sweet sound of copyright lawyer jackboots in the morning.
    • by gEvil (beta) (945888) on Friday May 11, 2007 @09:10AM (#19082313)
      They also want control over your "digital hole". Where do I sign up?

      They can have as much control of my digi. hole as they want, just as long as they don't go after my anal. hole.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 11, 2007 @10:05AM (#19083377)
        They can have as much control of my digi. hole as they want, just as long as they don't go after my anal. hole.

        Too late! [uncyclopedia.org]
    • none are able to control what happens between the rendering device and the sound card - what might be called "the digital hole".

      Stop me if I am wrong, but the analogue hole means you CANNOT protect analogue signal against copy protection, as soon as the media content is transformed into an analogue signal (sound or light) and sent to the human for perception then it is over, you can hijack that signal and make a copy all over the place. This has nothing to do how your signal is going to go to your sound
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by mrsteveman1 (1010381)
        Strictly speaking the analog hole is any interconnect that is NOT digital, because there is no real way to encode an analog signal such that only the intended devices can interpret it. You can try of course but it gets very complicated

        Obviously analog will always be subject to this lack of protection because speakers all contain 2 wire analog input, so unless we start hardening speakers like a DoD mainframe there will always be a way to get analog audio by cutting the speaker cone and setting volume level e
  • Hilarious PR (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mcvos (645701) on Friday May 11, 2007 @09:07AM (#19082279)
    Now this is truly funny. Not buying from them is a violation of the law? I suspect it's a publicity campaign. Lawsuits are very popular for that sort of thing, nowadays.
    • by Divebus (860563)
      This will be the world's shortest hearing.
      • Re:Hilarious PR (Score:4, Informative)

        by dougmc (70836) <dougmc+slashdot@frenzied.us> on Friday May 11, 2007 @09:29AM (#19082663) Homepage

        This will be the world's shortest hearing.
        No it won't. The world's shortest hearing happened in a courtroom -- and this will never make it to court. It's a publicity ploy.


        I might have tought they were hoping to settle out of court, because it would be cheaper to pay them off than to go to court and defeat them there, but considering their claim, that doesn't even seem likely. It must just be a way to get people to think about their product.

        • Re:Hilarious PR (Score:5, Informative)

          by kripkenstein (913150) on Friday May 11, 2007 @10:40AM (#19084035) Homepage

          it would be cheaper to pay them off than to go to court and defeat them there
          What? Paying them off would invite every other DRM-wannabee startup to sue them as well. That's the worst solution. Far better to take them to court, demolish them, and avoid future problems.

          But since they know that, perhaps their claim isn't as unwinnable as it seems. I admit at first glance I thought it must be some kind of joke, but there might be some details that we are unaware of (the Forbes article is very brief). Perhaps there were negotiations to use their product, and those were abandoned in bad faith in some manner? Or perhaps they did find a legal loophole to sue about? Who knows. Should be interesting to watch.
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by 0p7imu5_P2im3 (973979)
            I think it's a front company which was created to bring the DMCA up to the Supreme Court for review, especially considering how nearly useless the technological proposal is. Most likely, the DMCA would be thrown out for violating fair use laws if it ever made it to the Supreme Court. Hmmm... or the fair use laws could be revoked for being overwritten by the DMCA. This should be interesting to watch, indeed.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by srmalloy (263556)
            Didn't Diebold already lose a "Waaahhh, you didn't buy our product, so we're gonna sue" lawsuit like this one? If I understand the provisions of the DMCA, it criminalizes the act of bypassing DRM on copyrighted material, but it does not mandate the presence of DRM on copyrighted material (much less a specific company's DRM product), in the same manner that the laws criminalizing the unauthorized entry into someone's home do not require that the resident install locks on their door, much less buy those locks
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by watchingeyes (1097855)
          RTFA. The submitter and Zonk have it completely wrong (gasp shock?). No lawsuit has been filed. Forbes apparently doesn't know the difference between a publicity stunt and serious lawsuit threats. I'm thinking of adding Forbes.com to my adblock filter, the "journalism" there is shoddy at best.

          Reading the articles does take time, but when it is Zonk that accepts the submissions, it really is recommended.
      • Bailiff: All rise for the honorable judge NotImportant
        Judge walks in sits down and shuffles through papers.
        Judge looks up at the defendent.
        Judge: The court finds in favor of the defendent on account of the prosecution being a bunch of twits. Case dismissed.
        Judge stands up and walks out.

        Or at least we can hope.

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by Grishnakh (216268)
          This is totally wrong, however. What should happen is:

          Judge: The court finds in favor of the defendant on account of the plaintiffs being a bunch of twits, and bringing a totally baseless and frivolous lawsuit which has wasted our time here. Case against the defendant is dismissed, however, I'm awarding a $10 million punitive judgment against the plaintiffs, to be paid to the defendant, and plaintiffs must also pay court costs. This hearing is adjourned.

          Judge: Bailiff, please escort the plaintiffs out.
    • by Volante3192 (953645) on Friday May 11, 2007 @09:23AM (#19082551)
      They're just taking a page from Diebold v. Massachusettes...
    • by norminator (784674) on Friday May 11, 2007 @10:03AM (#19083317)

      Media Rights Technologies (MRT) and BlueBeat.com have issued cease and desist letters to both companies [MS & Apple] and to Adobe Systems Inc (nasdaq: ADBE - news - people ) and Real Networks

      Shouldn't they be sending out Commence and Continue letters?

      By the way, I'm going to start suing random people for not buying products that I'm going to invent, because those products would be really good and would help them a lot. You've all been warned!
    • Re:Hilarious PR (Score:5, Informative)

      by Garrett Fox (970174) on Friday May 11, 2007 @10:09AM (#19083455) Homepage
      There's precedent. I had heard about the dating site True.com lobbying Congressmen for "reform" of online dating, as a way to attract attention to the supposed virtues of their service.
    • The real reason ... (Score:3, Informative)

      by Skapare (16644)

      The real reason they are claiming that not using their DRM is a circumvention mechanism is because their whole technology depends on their software being present in order for the content to remain protected. If the software is absent, the content can be accessed in the clear. Apparently it is some kind of watermarking system that would trigger the software to check your authorization to access the content.

      So, is their technology that dumb? Or just their lawyer?

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Zeinfeld (263942)
        The real reason they are claiming that not using their DRM is a circumvention mechanism is because their whole technology depends on their software being present in order for the content to remain protected. If the software is absent, the content can be accessed in the clear. Apparently it is some kind of watermarking system that would trigger the software to check your authorization to access the content.

        Its either a publicity stunt or public stupidity.

        Failure to deploy a mechanism is not circumventio

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by watchingeyes (1097855)
      No lawsuit here. The fact that this was posted by Zonk explains everything. It was a C&D that was sent, and it was for publicity purposes. The company wouldn't be stupid enough to sue, because they don't have standing, and would be sanctioned severely and relatively quickly.

      Off-topic: We should start a petition for OSTG to replace Zonk with a monkey.
  • MRT and Bluebeat said the failure to use an available copyright protection solution contravenes the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which prohibits the manufacture of any product or technology designed to circumvent a technological measure that effectively controls access to a copyrighted work or protects the rights of copyright owners. They said a failure to comply with the cease and desist order could result in in a federal court injunction and/or the imposition of statutory damages of 200-2,500 usd per product distributed or sold.
    I, for one, am shocked to see DRM laws being used by frivilous lawsuits. This certainly is a first!
    • by southpolesammy (150094) on Friday May 11, 2007 @09:40AM (#19082847) Journal
      ObDisclaimer: IANAL

      I think it's high time we had lawsuit reform.

      Reform #1: If lawsuit is deemed frivolous, plaintiff pays for defendant's legal fees, court costs, and some penalty to be divvied between the court and the defendant(s).

      Reform #2: Neither party is allowed to spend more on legal fees and/or time spent, in the case of pro bono.

      Reform #3: If a plaintiff has had 3 lawsuits deemed frivolous, they are barred from suing for one year. A fourth is 5 years. A fifth is 10 years.

      Reform #4: A lawyer who's had 3 or more lawsuits dismissed for frivolity is suspended for one year. A fourth is grounds for disbarment. A fifth is automatic disbarment.

      Like I said previously, IANAL. Some of these might already be in place. Some might not be good ideas. But the time for stopping this litigious nonsense has come.
      • by WhiteDragon (4556)
        It's a good idea, but it will never happen. (slow down, cowboy...)
      • by Lonewolf666 (259450) on Friday May 11, 2007 @10:16AM (#19083571)
        IANAL too, but AFAIK part of #1 already exists:
        after being hit with a frivolous lawsuit, you can sue the plaintiff to recover your legal fees and have a good chance of winning.

        In this case, I think plaintiff is asking for it (by suing some big corporations who can afford fighting this bullshit in court ;-)
      • by cfulmer (3166) on Friday May 11, 2007 @11:02AM (#19084443) Homepage Journal
        Completely frivolous lawsuits really aren't really that big a problem. The bigger problem is lawsuits which have some slim amount of merit, so they aren't technically frivolous, but which are brought mainly for harassment purposes. You're not really allowed to do that, but it's exceptionally hard to ascribe motive. We do have anti-SLAPP laws to address some of these problems.

        Reform #1: In the US, Rule 11 sanctions are available if you institute a frivolous lawsuit. The exact sanction is determined by the judge on a case-by-case basis, and may be against the party, his lawyer, the lawyer's firm or any combination thereof. It can be monetary or non-monetary.

        Reform #2: Why? If they persist, there'll be another Rule 11 sanction, which would probably be worse.

        Reform #3: I don't think you need this. Lawsuits are expensive enough, as-is. If you're forced to pay the other side's fees (see #1), you'll stop quick enough.

        Reform #4: This just isn't a problem. How many lawyers do you know who have even filed one frivolous lawsuit?

        If this story isn't a complete farce, then there are probably some important details that we're missing.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Overzeetop (214511)
          Actually, you touched on the problem in your first sentence: completely frivilous lawsuits are not really common. Why? Because lawyers are the ones determining what constitutes frivolity? It's a clear conflict of interest. And one we will never get away from, considering the large percentage of the legislators and judges are lawyers.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by jd (1658)
        (1) is already done in England, extensively, and is the main reason it's less lawsuit-happy than the US.

        The last thing we want is for lawyers to be in prisons. THOUSANDS of potential clients, all with nowhere to run. No, that's just not fair.

      • Reform #3: If a plaintiff has had 3 lawsuits deemed frivolous, they are barred from suing for one year. A fourth is 5 years. A fifth is 10 years.
        Amendment to Reform # 3: If a plaintiff has had 3 lawsuits deemed frivolous, the plaintiff is to be divvied up.

        Reform #4: A lawyer who's had 3 or more lawsuits dismissed for frivolity is suspended for one year. A fourth is grounds for disbarment. A fifth is automatic disbarment.
        Amendment to Reform # 4: If the lawyer walks upright or breathes oxygen, the lawyer is to be divvied up.

        Martha! Fetch up the chainsaw! We got us a legal problem needs fixin.
  • DRM (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Tuoqui (1091447) on Friday May 11, 2007 @09:08AM (#19082287) Journal
    So Apple by NOT using any DRM, is circumventing the DMCA?

    Let me be the first to call BULLSHIT on that. DMCA only applies AFTER you've applied DRM to the material involved. I hope the judge tells this little company to GTFO of his courtroom and laugh them out of court because in all honesty this lawsuit is bullshit.

    Remember it is the right of the company to choose NOT to protect the copyright with DRM. Apple is taking a step in the right direction with their iTunes store with the DRM-free songs people can buy even if is its $1.30 (which may be more than the market is willing to bear).
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Pofy (471469)
      Didn't Blizzard claim something similar in the bnetd case regarding not testing the cd-key "properly"?
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by MathFox (686808)
        But the judge convicted on a contract violation for reverse-engineering the protocol.
    • by bluprint (557000)
      I agree. Lack of implementation can't possibly (can it?) be the same as circumvention. In order to circumvent something, it has to be there to begin with.
    • by leuk_he (194174)
      well looking at the law:

      1201 A 1)....(A) No person shall circumvent a technological
      measure that effectively controls access to a work protected under this title....


      futher below...

      ''(A) to 'circumvent a technological measure' means to
      descramble a scrambled work, to decrypt an encrypted work,
      or otherwise to avoid, bypass, remove, deactivate, or impair
      a technological measure, without the authority of the copyright
      owner; and


      Not providing a mechanism at all to protect is pretty much avoidance. That is exactly wh
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Clock Nova (549733)
        But it also says "without the authority of the copyright owner," which I'm pretty sure Apple has. So, once again, this lawsuit is meaningless because the DMCA doesn't say you have to use DRM, just that you can't go around it without the owner's permission.
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by PenguSven (988769)
        you missed the important part. "without the authority of the copyright owner;" anything released on itunes or MS store is clearly going to have the copyright holder's blessing. see this is why the US legal system is fucked. they should impose fines on assholes for creating this frivolous cases. i dunno. even claim $10 an hour for every hour of time it takes up for everyone involved. lawyers, the companies being sued, the judge, court staff, etc. maybe that would stop it. or you could just shoot all the
        • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

          by djasbestos (1035410)
          I'd help you out with the president, but my guns all have Digital Rifle Management.



          Note to DoD, DHS, etc: the above statement is a joke. I do not intend to shoot the president and do not condone criminal behavior. Your Mooninite Scare lawsuits will not touch me.
    • by Fallen Kell (165468) on Friday May 11, 2007 @09:45AM (#19082921)
      Come on guys. You are looking at this all wrong. You WANT them to win this suite. Why? Because then the big corporations will FINALLY be on OUR side in saying the DMCA is one of the worst laws to be passed in recent times.
      • by mattgreen (701203)
        Take off your blinders buddy, there are no friendly companies so long as DRM is out and about. You want it totally gone. Not half-ass solutions that RoughlyDrafted insists are acceptable.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Tuoqui (1091447)
        You know on second thought... this could be treated as an attack on the Open Source movement.

        If suddenly anything you distribute needs to be protected by DRM then licensing schemes like the GPL and even Creative Commons License become null and void because DRM exists to restrict the free flow of information.

        So technically NO, you do not want them to win this lawsuit despite what other people have been saying in other comments.
    • If circumvent means the same as "not use" then they could have a winable case. Let me just check the Websters Dictionary here....."to make a circuit around". Hmm not sure. Ok lets check the free online dictionary.."To Avoid".

      Ok, so the defendants avoided using the copyright protection. At a push you could say that's the same as circumvent. There really should be some specified limits put on that stupid DMCA thing. The way it stands it's almost a piece of evidence to corruption in the system.

    • by Lumpy (12016)
      No it's better than that. Apple is not using THEIR DRM system and therefore in violation of the DMCA.
      This company is trying o get a court to say that if you are not buying THEIR product then you are in violation of the law.

      Is is far more incredulous and crazy than you originally thought.
    • Reading the article, it sounds like their technology is a bit broader than that... it's not that companies aren't protecting their content, I think it's that operating systems and software are not actively preventing user hardware from being employed in circumvention and copyright infringement...

      The logic is tortured and so I could be totally missing their point, but it seems like the thrust of their argument is that computers can be used to circumvent DRM, but their software prevents that from happening.

    • So Apple by NOT using any DRM, is circumventing the DMCA?

      Let me be the first to call BULLSHIT on that. DMCA only applies AFTER you've applied DRM to the material involved.

      2 thoughts I would like to add:
      1) Isn't the requirement of DRM or no DRM left up to the content provider? If the content provider isn't satisfied with FairPlay or PlaysForSure, they can make the choice not to sell through that DRM platform.
      2) Apple and MS have their own DRM that they have developed themselves (or maybe bought?), an

  • by fudgefactor7 (581449) on Friday May 11, 2007 @09:09AM (#19082291)
    Couldn't any DRM-maker say this same thing and sue again, and again, and again.... Hell, I could make up some random cipher and claim that, too!
     
    These guys are pretty big tools to think that they'll actually get away with this....then again, the way the government (and silly laws) work, they may just win the day.
     
    Just another reason why DRM is not just shit, but it's evil shit.
    • by Rob T Firefly (844560) on Friday May 11, 2007 @09:12AM (#19082375) Homepage Journal
      Note to self: take out copyrights on pig latin, ROT13, and substituting "no" for "yes" in responses to women who ask if their butts look big in those jeans...
    • by frdmfghtr (603968)

      These guys are pretty big tools to think that they'll actually get away with this....then again, the way the government (and silly laws) work, they may just win the day.

      I hope not, this is just asinine. I bet the jokers at MRT are looking for an out-of-court settlement, as somebody has their eye on a shiny new boat and can't scrape up the payments.

      I hope this doesn't get settled...I want to see Apple, Microsoft, et al go to court and make it hurt. How much do you want to bet that when court day arrives,

  • I would say more, but without controlling access to this paragraph with MRT's products, I fear I have already risked too much ..."

    It won't work. Even if you don't say anything, you're "failing to include measures to control access" and thus "constitut[ing] a circumvention of a copy protection system." -Loyal

  • I think it's about the right time for me to file suit against Media Rights Technologies for not employing me at a salary of $10,000,000/year to refill their coke machines. Because of their unwillingness to hire me as a coke machine filler, their machines are dreadfully low, who knows how many people could become thirsty as a direct result..!!

    Some companies really have no conscience.
  • by PlayItBogart (1099739) on Friday May 11, 2007 @09:11AM (#19082341)
    Dead people being sued for not living.
  • by qengho (54305) on Friday May 11, 2007 @09:21AM (#19082505)
    Next up: Dostoevsky scholars denied access to source materials because they couldn't not think of a white bear. [wikipedia.org]
  • When? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by whisper_jeff (680366)
    At what point do judges step up and slap around plaintiffs who are obviously abusing the legal system? How frivolous does a lawsuit need to be (such as this "free publicity" lawsuit) before a judge will say enough is enough?
    • by cduffy (652)
      About this frivolous.

      I'm serious. You can file for anything you want to, but these folks are going to get slapped down hard when they actually come before a judge.
    • I can't help thinking of the judge reaching under his desk, and pulling a lever, dropping a 16 ton weight on the plaintiff and his lawyer.
  • We're all complicit (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Random BedHead Ed (602081) on Friday May 11, 2007 @09:24AM (#19082557) Homepage Journal

    All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective owners. Comments are owned by the Poster. The Rest © 1997-2007 OSTG.

    I just found the above text at the bottom of all /. pages. Read that again: all pages. Taking all the posts into account, that means there are probably limitless violations right on this site. In fact, I have to admit that this comment uses no technology from Media Rights Technologies to encrypt it. Perhaps I should have posted as an AC.

  • by notabaggins (1099403) on Friday May 11, 2007 @09:24AM (#19082563)
    That is which not permitted is forbidden, that which is permitted is mandatory. I think that was Orwell. Either way, how Soviet. The greatest enemy of the capitalism these days are the... capitalists...
    • by Shadowlore (10860) on Friday May 11, 2007 @12:37PM (#19086607) Journal
      The greatest enemy of the capitalism these days are the... capitalists...

      Wrong. Any time you have someone claiming you have to buy their product or service because it is the law (true or not), that's statism, not capitalism. Anytime someone argues that buying their product/service should be mandated by law, that's statism. A Capitalist wants the government to not interfere with her business transactions. Buying and/or selling does not a capitalist make.
  • by johnw (3725) on Friday May 11, 2007 @09:25AM (#19082577)
    Does this mean SCO can sue IBM for not including their copyrighted code in Linux?
  • There is no lawsuit. (Score:5, Informative)

    by jonnythan (79727) on Friday May 11, 2007 @09:26AM (#19082601) Homepage
    This company has cent cease and desist letters.

    That's all.

    There is no lawsuit. There's the apparent threat of a lawsuit, but that's all.

    Move along folks. Move along.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Farmer Tim (530755)
      This company has cent cease and desist letters.

      Wow, where can I get lawyers that cheap?
    • by in7ane (678796) on Friday May 11, 2007 @10:35AM (#19083927)
      From http://ewatch.prnewswire.com/rs/display.jsp?a=3070 2-309198409-850566157&key=D [prnewswire.com]|136206|S|0|x|309198409 (linked to from http://www.mediarightstech.com/ [mediarightstech.com] ), the issue is BlueBeat.com an internet radio station (which is owned by the same people as MRT), and the increase in fees due to the Internet Radio Equality Act (which they think should not apply to them).

      It all started when:

      "In the summer of 2001, The MoMI was hit with a cease-and-desist letter
      from the RIAA for copyright infringement, alleging damages of $150 million
      to their members. Upon further investigation it was discovered that
      Microsoft had circumvented The MoMI's copy protection, exposing hidden
      music files in an "upgrade" to the Windows Media Player, turning secure
      MoMI performances into downloads."

      After which they invented a magic "anti-Stream Ripping provision" which others did not implement, and since:

      "The basis for the rate hikes was primarily a result of the webcasting
      community failing to adopt content control technology that would maintain
      the integrity of the streamed performance."

      It seems that what they are essentially trying to do it to get somebody else to compensate them for the rate hike that they will have to pay "If the Internet Radio Equality Act is to pass", or pressure others to influence the content of the act.

      This is really a non-story, and since their issue seems to be with internet radio and stream rippers the inclusion of Apple may be due to their misunderstanding of the technology involved.

      And their actual goal:

      "The message is clear and simple: if webcasting royalty rates are to be
      equalized with Satellite or Digital FM broadcasts by passage of The
      Internet Radio Equality Act, Stream Ripping protection provisions must be
      added to the Bill before the CRB rates go into effect May 15, 2007."

      Making their position no less bizzare, they don't want anyone to buy their technology, just illogical in a different way.
  • Suicide or Buyout (Score:5, Interesting)

    by caveman (7893) on Friday May 11, 2007 @09:31AM (#19082681)
    My initial suspicion was that this company is trying to commit suicide.

    However, after engaging the brain for a microsecond, I suspect what they are trying to do is get themselves bought out, because that result is probably cheaper in the long run to one of the big DRM users out there (mm. surprised they didn't sue Sony/Disney)

    Otherwise I read the case like this: I don't pay you to get your car keys from you in order to steal your car. I don't steal your car. I don't even know where your car is, and have no intention of stealing it, but I'm guilty of not using the official theft-prevention technology (i.e. your keys) to not steal it. I think that makes about as much sense as this lawsuit.
  • i hope these assholes get sued into a big blackhole. what they are claiming, is that if i create something, i MUST drm it, and it MUST be their own technology. excuse me while i shit on their door step.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 11, 2007 @09:38AM (#19082803)
    Macrovision once threatened to sue our company if we wouldn't
    license their DRM - because their DRM doesn't work.

    The codecs we licensed for our products unintentionally ignored
    the Macrovision DRM. It was simply caught by the error correction.
    Macrovision threatened to sue the company I work at for violating
    the DMCA. This could only be avoided if we explicitly checked their
    DRM so we wouldn't ignore it accidentally. To check for their DRM,
    we would need to license their system.
    • by HTH NE1 (675604) on Friday May 11, 2007 @10:18AM (#19083613)

      Macrovision once threatened to sue our company if we wouldn't license their DRM - because their DRM doesn't work.

      The codecs we licensed for our products unintentionally ignored the Macrovision DRM. It was simply caught by the error correction. Macrovision threatened to sue the company I work at for violating the DMCA. This could only be avoided if we explicitly checked their DRM so we wouldn't ignore it accidentally. To check for their DRM, we would need to license their system.
      Indeed, the case of Macrovision was what I was going to cite. Failure to make a technology vulnerable to a particular DRM scheme would be seen as creating circumventing technology. As I recall, there used to be VCRs that were not vulnerable to Macrovision protection, able to record the signal from a deck playing a Macrovision-protected tape. I used to have one, but it finally died. (It also recorded better with one head than modern 4-head VCRs.) Now all VCRs are engineered to be vulnerable to Macrovision. (Probably integrated into the VHS technology license.)

      So instead, I'll point out that it is rumored that early development versions of TiVo were so good at extracting a video signal from noise that they accidentally were very effective at defeating most analog cable scrambling in use at the time. They then had to re-engineer the TiVo so it was no longer capable of that function.

      This case though should still be thrown out. The DMCA only prevents circumvention of effective controls. That one has to look for a particular protection and react accordingly does not make it effective. If not for expected FCC regulations to require its recognition, the Broadcast Flag would similarly be ineffective, as it is with HDTV tuner cards created without including such a flag's recognition.

      You need a law making recognition of your particular crackpot protection scheme mandated before you can argue that someone is violating the DMCA by not recognizing your particular crackpot protection scheme.

      IANAL.
  • No person shall manufacture, import, offer to the public, provide, or otherwise traffic in any technology, product, service, device, component, or part thereof, that--
    (A) is primarily designed or produced for the purpose of circumventing a technological measure that effectively controls access to a work protected under this title;
    (B) has only limited commercially significant purpose or use other than to circumvent a technological measure that effectively controls access to a work protected under this title;
  • Can a lawyer out there speak to the likelihood that the judge will sanction the lawyers who brought this to court? If the judge does sanction them, how severely will that damage their careers? I've had a lawyer profess fear of sanction even when I had a solid case against a business partner who'd misappropriated my software. With no case, isn't that threat much worse?
  • Please somebody defeat this non-issue with a black magic marker and have it permanently over with already. Making the claim they are the only basemost or root DRM scheme is absurd. Somebody simply has to crack it open once and then nobody will trust it against the claims originally made.
  • I'm safe (Score:4, Funny)

    by ameline (771895) <ian.ameline@gmail . c om> on Friday May 11, 2007 @09:52AM (#19083111) Homepage Journal
    I'm safe from these lawsuits.

    Absolutely everything I produce (including this post) is encrypted with 26 rounds of a sophisticated encryption algorithm known as ROT13. Sometimes, when I'm feeling particularly concerned about the value of the IP I'm producing, I'll apply 32 or even 64 rounds of this algorithm!

    I am afraid, however, that by decrypting this post, you are in violation of the DMCA. See you in court suckers!
  • by gregor-e (136142) on Friday May 11, 2007 @10:05AM (#19083369) Homepage
    It's an obvious attempt to mooch free advertising. And here we are, giving them exactly what they want. All for the cost of having their lawyer send a couple of C&D letters. Sad. (But instructive).
  • by phrostie (121428) on Friday May 11, 2007 @10:07AM (#19083421)
    these guys don't have the same board of directors(or major stock holders) as SCOG do they?

    Geez, the world has gone insane
  • And in other news, Linux developers have threatened to sue MRT and BlueBeat.com for failing to open source the X1 SeCure Recording Control on the grounds that failing to provide a GPL version suitable for Linux is an act of circumventing the DMCA.

  • No lawsuit filed (Score:5, Insightful)

    by codepunk (167897) on Friday May 11, 2007 @11:05AM (#19084495)
    First of all no lawsuit has been filed, they just sent a cease and desist.

    This is otherwise known as creative marketing, nobody even knew these guys existed up
    to this point. Will they every file a lawsuit? Doubt it, but this little stunt makes
    it possible that someone will look and possibly care about whatever snake oil they produce.
  • by Dachannien (617929) on Friday May 11, 2007 @11:47AM (#19085415)

    1201(c)(3). Nothing in this section shall require that the design of, or design and selection of parts and components for, a consumer electronics, telecommunications, or computing product provide for a response to any particular technological measure, so long as such part or component, or the product in which such part or component is integrated, does not otherwise fall within the prohibitions of subsection (a)(2) or (b)(1).
  • by Technician (215283) on Friday May 11, 2007 @12:18PM (#19086165)
    There is something wrong with the article. I could read it without loading any DRM software.. Even more important, there is absolutely nothing to prevent a copy and paste or a screen capture of the copyrighted article.

    As an example of this failure to protect the copyrighted content, here is a copy/paste from the article.
    MRT and Bluebeat said the failure to use an available copyright protection solution contravenes the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which prohibits the manufacture of any product or technology designed to circumvent a technological measure that effectively controls access to a copyrighted work or protects the rights of copyright owners.

    I think this article would have been best posted in an encrypted form such as they use on Yahoo Music where you need an account to download the article and the article can't be freely posted online on slashdot due to effective DRM. I hope they properly sue Forbes for posting the article without DRM. In the future, I won't be bothered by these type of articles. because I don't do DRM.

    I should post as AC so I don't get nailed for the above copyright violation.

    Oh except for the above copyrighted quote, I'm posting this post as freeware. Feel free to repost. I hope that takes care of the requirement to post this with DRM.
  • by Opportunist (166417) on Friday May 11, 2007 @12:43PM (#19086733)
    Well, first of all, it's DCE and not DRM anymore.

    But that's not really funny. Actually, it could be a threat to Linux altogether. How can you make sure that Linux, being compiled from source by its user, keeps said user from accessing content he's not allowed to access?

    I predict that a lot of Linux devs and gurus will move out of the US into some free country.
  • Can I .... (Score:3, Funny)

    by PPH (736903) on Friday May 11, 2007 @12:48PM (#19086845)
    .... sue everyone for not encrypring everything with ROT13?


    Er, I mean:

    .... fhr rirelbar sbe abg rapelcevat rirelguvat jvgu EBG13?

  • by mark-t (151149) <markt@ l y n x.bc.ca> on Friday May 11, 2007 @04:48PM (#19090777) Journal

    .... doesn't protection have to be there in the first place?

    These companies don't put DRM on their stuff, so there's no protection to be defeated in the first place. How is the DMCA applicable?

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