US law could affect UK products and DVDs

US amendment attempts to ban DVD copying

A proposed US amendment to the law governing copy protection could see the backing-up of DVDs banned. The change would also see an end to DVD playback without the DVD being present.

According to US consumer publication PC Mag: “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.”

Malcolm added: “The real purpose of this proposed amendment is to put Kaleidescape out of business by excluding the Kaleidescape System from the DVD playback devices authored by the CSS License Agreement.”

“You should be aware before you vote on the proposed amendment that you expose yourself, your employer and the DVD CCA to serious and substantial antitrust liability if you vote for this amendment. Both state and federal laws outlaw anticompetitive conduct by businesses joining together to put a competitor out of business.”

If passed the law could see UK hardware and software being affected and could mean that devices such as the Archos 500 become redundant as users are unable to transfer movies on to personal media players.

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