Kaleidescape Victorious

March 29, 2007

KaleidescapeWell that was fast, at least it seemed so; just four days after the prosecution rested in the DVD-CCA vs. Kaleidescape trial, Judge Leslie C. Nichols ruled that no breach of contract took place. CEPro’s Julie Jacobson has the scoop so head on over for an extended read but I did want to make quick note of some of the more interesting points.

Kaleidescape argued, first and foremost, that nothing in the DVD-CCA licensing agreement prohibits the development of products that allow users to copy their DVDs.

Indeed, that’s exactly what Judge Leslie C. Nichols ruled today in the non-jury trial at the Downtown Superior Court of Santa Clara in San Jose, Calif. There was no breach of contract.

Because of this ruling, the Judge did not have to get into copyright issues, so the Kaleidescape ruling has no copyright implications. It is not a statement on the legality of ripping DVDs.

There was the possibility that copyright issues could have come into play. The DVD-CCA submitted to the Court a particular document, the “CSS General Specifications,” that it asserted was part of the licensing agreement.

The CSS General Specifications document includes wording about thwarting the “unauthorized copying” of DVD’s. The issue of what constitutes an unauthorized copy could have come up, but Judge Nichols ruled that the document in fact is not part of the DVD-CCA licensing agreement.

Whether you ever considered yourself a potential Kaleidescape customer or just an innocent bystander to the legal wranglings of two faceless entities, this was an important case. While fair-use wasn’t specifically introduced into the trial the ruling would seem to legitimize the Kaleidescape system (and hopefully similar systems) somewhat at least from a hardware standpoint.

That of course doesn’t rule out an appeal in the future but as Kaleidescape’s CEO (Michael Malcolm) points out “the Judge was extremely thorough in his ruling, which might make it tough for the DVD group to win on appeal.” However as noted the entire issue of copyright never came up as this was essentially a breach of contract dispute between Kaleidescape and the DVD-CCA, who knows whether the studios will queue up for their day in court against Kaleidescape.

Posted by Bryan Greenway | | Filed Under Media Servers


  • Sounds good to me

  • Jonathan Greene

    The good guys can win in these things…

  • Jonathan Greene

    The good guys can win in these things…