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No more pirated DVDs from China...maybe

DVD-player manufacturer in China ordered to comply with content protection technology license.

Dong Ngo SF Labs Manager, Editor / Reviews
CNET editor Dong Ngo has been involved with technology since 2000, starting with testing gadgets and writing code for CNET Labs' benchmarks. He now manages CNET San Francisco Labs, reviews 3D printers, networking/storage devices, and also writes about other topics from online security to new gadgets and how technology impacts the life of people around the world.
Dong Ngo
2 min read

The MPAA doesn't want to make it easy for you to copy DVDs; DVD Shrink does. Download.com

If you've been copying DVDs using some made-in-China DVD player, think about taking good care of the device, as you might not be able to buy a replacement.

The Motion Picture Association of America on Friday announced that its member companies have won a breach of contract lawsuit against China-based DVD player manufacturer Gowell Electronics Limited. The U.S. District Court for the Central District of California issued a permanent injunction that prohibits the manufacturer from violating any term of the Content Scramble System license agreement.

The lawsuit started in June of 2008 after an MPAA investigation revealed that Gowell was manufacturing and selling DVD players that lacked the appropriate implementation of the CSS license agreement.

CSS technology is a security measure that controls unauthorized access to and copying of copyrighted content on DVDs. The CSS license mandates the content protection that enables film studios to provide consumers with more than 84,000 DVD titles, including 12,000 new titles last year alone.

The motion picture studios are third-party beneficiaries of the CSS license and may enforce it against licensees who fail to comply with its terms.

While this is the ninth such case in which a court has issued a permanent injunction banning future violations of the license, this time the plaintiffs are allowed to review and test any new or re-engineered products that incorporate the CSS technology before going to market.

According to the MPAA, worldwide motion picture industry losses total more than $11 billion annually to hard goods piracy, including bootlegging and illegal copying. MPAA member companies have now won three injunctions against noncompliant DVD player manufacturers and six against companies in the IT area. They intend to continue pursuing other violators vigorously through future litigation.

Personally, I think it's interesting how MPAA counts the money it doesn't make as losses. I am not so sure if the Chinese company would comply 100 percent with the court order, either. And even if it does, I don't know what good that would do to general consumers, like you and me.