After a decade and a half of negotiations, waiting, and litigation - with the emphasis toward the latter - the DVD Copy Control Association, which administers the CSS copy protection scheme, formally announced yesterday that it will soon become legal for businesses to burn DVDs on demand whose copy protection includes CSS.
The announcement comes at what may finally be the resolution of a debate among different infighting groups of movie studios and CE manufacturers, over how - or whether - to implement a way for licensed companies to sell DVDs through a replication service. One such service, CinemaNow, has been in business since July 2006, offering licensed download-to-own movies via the Internet.
And another has been the subject of lawsuits and negotiations since 2004 that have threatened to destroy the company, despite an important legal victory. Kaleidescape, Inc. operates a service where movie DVDs can be burned and delivered to customers directly, through a kind of video jukebox-like vending machine.
A second group of studios and manufacturers along with Intel, whose DVD CCA included members noticeably differ from CinemaNow's original licensors, had proposed an amendment to CSS' procedural specifications that would have effectively prohibited CSS from being copied legally, as an intellectual property component unto itself.
"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)," the previously proposed amendment read, "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."