DVD-copying code loses free speech shield...

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  • clm811
    Junior Member
    • Nov 2002
    • 24

    DVD-copying code loses free speech shield...

    California Court Rules for DVD Industry
    Mon Aug 25, 6:52 PM ET
    By DAVID KRAVETS, Associated Press Writer

    SAN FRANCISCO - The California Supreme Court ruled Monday that courts may block Internet users from posting codes that could be used to illegally copy DVD movies, in a case that pitted trade secret rights against free speech... more at:


    The latest news and headlines from Yahoo News. Get breaking news stories and in-depth coverage with videos and photos.
    Charles Moore
  • HowardGjr
    Junior Member
    • Jan 2003
    • 19

    #2
    Interesting decision.

    It seems the court might not understand the situation. The programmer did not steal trade secrets, he created his own code that allowed the encryption to be defeated. I don't beleive that reverse engineering a trade secret is illegal.

    Does this decision mean that if Kellog independently discovers a way to make cereal less expensive that happens to match the mechanism used by Quaker that it has stolen trade secrets from Quaker? :?

    On the other hand, it seems to make sense that it should not be legal to pick a lock just because you have access to the technology to do it. Still, in most cases, its not illegal to PUBLISH techniques for picking locks.

    This is a very tough call for the courts. On one hand, if the US does not allow companies to vigorously protect IP (Movies, Music, Software, Drug Designs, FPGA and ASIC designs, etc), we significantly devalue this type of product. Since this represents the prime component of the US global advantage, this would be bad. In addition to the problems that it would cause for the US economy, it would certainly stifle innovation. Clearly, the advantage would be for those who would imitate the technology rather than create it.

    On the other hand, in a democracy, its hard to imagine a suite of laws that went against the obvious will of the people. Clearly, most people don't think sharing music,software etc. should be illegal.

    Comment

    • Phil Rose
      Senior Member
      • Aug 2000
      • 142

      #3
      if the US does not allow companies to vigorously protect IP (Movies, Music, Software, Drug Designs, FPGA and ASIC designs, etc), we significantly devalue this type of product
      While I don't disagree with you there doesn't seem to be any way to protect IP in foreign countries. From what I've heard and seen, some of the Pacific rim nations are infamous for ripping off IP. This isn't any reason not to defend IP at home but it does make it seem somewhat futile in the big picture.

      Comment

      • David Meek
        Moderator Emeritus
        • Aug 2000
        • 8938

        #4
        I don't beleive that reverse engineering a trade secret is illegal.

        If it is, then could any company that ever legally bought a competitor's piece of equipment and opened it up to "see how it works" be guilty? 8O Drawing that scenario out to a conclusion is worrisome.

        . . . there doesn't seem to be any way to protect IP in foreign countries. From what I've heard and seen, some of the Pacific rim nations are infamous for ripping off IP. This isn't any reason not to defend IP at home but it does make it seem somewhat futile in the big picture.

        Agreed. The focus of the industries' efforts should be on developing ways and means of stopping the true IP pirates in Hong Kong and other places abroad, not US college students.




        David - HTGuide flunky
        Our "Theater"
        Our DVDs on DVD Tracker

        .

        David - Trigger-happy HTGuide Admin

        Comment

        • Dr C
          Member
          • Feb 2003
          • 86

          #5
          Just my $0.02 - reverse engineering is not illegal. It is only illegal if it copies a process, hardware or software that has been patented.

          On the other hand - David - there isn't much IP piracy in Singapore. Most of the pirated disks/programs etc are being copied in 2 places : a neighbouring country to us and China. Sure you can find copy disks in Singapore if you look hard enough but you can also find them worldwide. DVD prices vary - USD4 in Malaysia and HK, USD7 in Thailand ... USD1-2 in China. These are all DVD9 dual layer disks. In an effort to stem the pirates, Malaysia will decide - at the end of this month - to fix the price of legal software. In case this comes to pass, I'll let you guys know. :?

          Comment

          • David Meek
            Moderator Emeritus
            • Aug 2000
            • 8938

            #6
            Hi Colin, my apologies for the incorrect info. I'll modify the post accordingly. ops:

            Please keep us posted on what goes on in Malaysia. It's nice to know that at least someone is taking action to stabilize the market and stop or at least slow the pirates - and NOT do it by persecuting the wrong market segment (like the RIAA and DVDCCA).




            David - HTGuide flunky
            Our "Theater"
            Our DVDs on DVD Tracker

            .

            David - Trigger-happy HTGuide Admin

            Comment

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