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Do You Have the Right to Copy DVD Movies?

Boot Camp feature for Friday, December 27, 2002

Do you have the right to copy DVD movies? Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. It's one of the digital rights issues that will be before the courts in the year to come. Seven major movie studios are accusing a software company called 321 Studios of violating the Digital Millennium Copyright Act... by selling a program called DVD Xcopy. It breaks through copy protection schemes on DVD movie discs. 321 Studios president and founder Robert Moore...

"The allegation that it's wrong to make a back-up copy of your own personal property is flawed. It certainly doesn't agree with historical actions that consumers have undertaken. For instance, you can make copies of VHS tapes, you can make copies of CD audio."

While the industry's federal lawsuit claims the software encourages the copying of copyrighted motion pictures, Moore argues that isn't so... .

"We have incorporated three anti-piracy features into DVD Xcopy. One of them being an indelible video disclaimer at the beginning of each back-up that clearly indicates that it is a back-up copy. The second thing that we've done is we've included a bit flag on the back-up copy that prevents you from making a copy from a copy. And the third thing that we're doing is that we embed an electronic watermark in the video stream of the back-up copy."

Which allows illegal copies to be traced back to the registered owner of the software. So far, 321 Studios says it has sold about 35 thousand copies of its Xcopy software. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.