3 Count: Mod Appeal

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1: RealNetworks Appeals Injunction on RealDVD Sales

First off today, Real, the company most famous for its RealPlayer product, is appealing an injunction that is barring it from selling RealDVD, it’s DVD ripping and storage product that the movie studios have launched a legal campaign to block.

According to the movie studios, RealDVD, which allows users to rip DVDs to their hard drive and then store them for future playback, is a violation of their copyrights as it allows users to break the encryption on the DVD itself. RealDVD, however, countered and said that they did not simply break the encryption, but wrapped the ripped DVD in an encryption of its own.

The judge in the case sided with the movie studios, issuing a restraining order barring the sale of the product, an order that Real is now appealing, claiming that the lower judge used an incorrect standard when deciding to impose the injunction.

In addition to RealDVD, Real is also planning to introduce a standalone DVD player that also stores the DVDs on a hard drive for easier playback.

2: Console Modder’s Appeal Tossed in UK Court

UK citizen Christopher Paul Gilham, convicted in 2008 of modifying various video game consoles to play pirated games, has had his appeal tossed.

The appeal centered around the issue of “whether the playing of a counterfeit DVD involves substantial copying of a copyright work.” This was an issue because Gilham did not actual copy or pirate any games, but rather, simply sold and installed the chips that enabled his customers to play such games.

The court ruled that it was irrelevant whether or not the chip stored any substantial elements of the game in its ram, but rather, it was illegal because it copies some copyrightable elements, such as characters and artwork.

Copyright holders welcomed the decision and the clarification and the ruling will likely make it much more difficult for video game console modders in the UK to make a case that their activity is legal.

3: Don`t Jail Illegal Music Sharers: UN Agency

Finally today, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), which is a UN agency, has said that jailing file sharers would be counter-productive to correcting the current copyright climate and that it is imperative that alternatives, such as flat rate download licenses, be discussed seriously.

WIPO also warned that the copyright protection for music was “under the most severe stress” though similar problems could come to movies as connection speeds increase.

Though short on solutions, WIPO was quick to condemn all severe punishments for copyright infringement, including the recent Thomas/Tenenbaum rulings in the US and The Pirate Bay convictions in Sweden.


That’s it for the three count today. We will be back tomorrow with three more copyright links. If you have a link that you want to suggest a link for the column or have any proposals to make it better. Feel free to leave a comment or send me an email. I hope to hear from you.

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