Television

Anti-piracy moves: CSS Tech, MPAA settle suit

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MUMBAI: In a move that could impact the anti-piracy movement, the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and CSS Technology have announced the amicable settlement of a lawsuit initiated by the MPAA's members in April 2004. CSS chips protect against the illegal reproduction or redistribution of DVD content

Recently, the MPAA's member companies stepped up their efforts to crack down on the illegal distribution of Content Scramble System (CSS) chips. These chips are used to unlock the security features on copyrighted DVDs.

The CSS licence restricts integrated circuit suppliers from selling these chips to DVD player and computer manufacturers that do not have a valid CSS licence. This is because such entities have no contractual obligations to implement appropriate security features.

Under the settlement reached, CSS will work cooperatively with the MPAA member companies in fighting piracy and CSS will sell chips only to DVD CCA licencees under the terms of a permanent injunction.

CSS states that it totally supports the enforcement of all parties' valid intellectual property rights and is committed to being a leader in enabling content protection features.

The suit was part of a recent wave of Hollywood enforcement actions against hardware makers that studios believe are contributing to piracy.

The most controversial of these so far has been a lawsuit against start-up Kaleidescape, which makes high-end DVD jukeboxes that stream movies and other content on home networks. The company's products allow customers to upload as many as 500 DVD movies to a central server, and then browse and play the movies anywhere in a home.

Kaleidescape executives say they acquired a licence for their product from the DVD Copy Control Association, which is the licensing group for Hollywood's anti-piracy technology. But the DVD-CCA said its technology is meant to prevent copying of DVDs, and filed a suit against Kaleidescape in December. The suit remains outstanding in California state court.

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