San Francisco Federal Court hears DVD copying dispute

May 16, 2003

The battle between Hollywood’s content owners and the public’s fair-use rights to digital media is now before a federal judge.

At issue is the legality of software that allows computer users to copy commercial DVD content. The outcome of the case has big implications for the future home recording rights to digital television broadcasts.

The lawsuit was brought last year by a coalition of motion picture studios that claim 321 Studios’ DVD X Copy and DVD Copy Plus software violates the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. The software, sold as a low-cost consumer product, allows the making of back-up copies of encrypted DVD discs on a conventional personal computer.

U.S. District Judge Susan Illston heard arguments in the case last week in San Francisco. She did not issue an immediate decision.

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