Posted by: Stephen Wildstrom on August 12, 2009
If you think people should be able to make copies of their own DVDs and believe that bad news comes in threes, brace yourself. Yesterday, a federal court in Los Angeles issued a preliminary injunction barring the sale target=”_blank” of RealNetwork’s RealDVD. Today, the California Court of Appeal added to the pain by overturning (PDF) a trail court’s verdict in favor of Kaleidescape’s high-end DVD storage systems. Is there a third shoe out there?
The Kaleidescape case, which Real relied on as precedent, has been kicking around the California courts for years. Unlike the suit against Real, which was based on provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, the Kaleidescape case was a contract dispute. The DVD Content Control Authority alleged that Kaleidescape’s devices violated the terms of its DVD CCA license by decrypting DVDs protected by the DVD Content Scramble System so the contents could be stored on, and played from, a hard drive.
DVD CCA filed suit against Kaleidescape in 2004 after l♠engthy negotiations failed, and Kaleidescape prevailed in a 2007 trial. But today, a three-judge panel of the Court of Appeal ruled unanimously that the trail court erroneously interpreted the terms of the the DVD CCA license.
The decision should have little immediate impact on Kaleidescape or its products. "As tot he remedy," the court said, "a specific performance order cannot be crafted unless and u7ntil the trial court decides Kaleidescape is in breach." In other words, the whole matter goes back to Superior Court in Santa Clara County to be reconsidered following the higher court's interpretation of the license.