Proposed Amendment Would Ban All DVD Copying

A proposed amendment to the current copy protection license governing DVDs would completely ban all DVD backups, and prevent DVD playback without the DVD disk being present inside the drive. The proposed amendment was made public in a letter sent by Michael Malcolm, the chief executive of Kaleidescape, a DVD jukebox company which successfully defeated […]

A proposed amendment to the current copy protection license governing DVDs would completely ban all DVD backups, and prevent DVD playback without the DVD disk being present inside the drive.

The proposed amendment was made public in a letter sent by Michael Malcolm, the chief executive of Kaleidescape, a DVD jukebox company which successfully defeated a suit by the DVD Copy Control Association (DVD CCA) this past March. The proposed amendment is scheduled for a vote on Wednesday, according to Malcolm.

A spokesman for the CCA said he was not aware of the proposed amendment, but added that he could not comment until the CCA had finished its deliberations. A spokeswoman for Kaleidescape said she understood that a final decision could take weeks, if not months.

The amendment is currently being considered by the Content Protection Advisory Council (CPAC) of the DVD CCA. If enacted, it would become binding in 18 months from the date on which the CCA notified its licensees, which include DVD hardware and software manufacturers.

The terms of the amendment, formally referred to as the "Unknown Specification Amendment," are just a paragraph long, and would basically eliminate DVD copying of any form, whether for the purposes of fair use or not.

The amendment reads:

"6.4. Certain Requirements for DVD Products. DVD Products, alone or in combination with other DVD Products, shall not be designed to descramble scrambled CSS Data when the DVD Disc containing such CSS Data and associated CSS Keys is not physically present in the DVD Player or DVD Drive (as applicable), and a DVD Product shall not be designed to make or direct the making of a persistent copy of CSS Data that has been descrambled from such DVD Disc by such DVD Product."

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Amemdment, DVD, Piracy, Copy Protection, Licensing