DVDFab Domains Taken Down By US Court Order


DVDFab_Logo_9A New York federal court has granted permission for the seizure of several domain names, bank funds and social media accounts belonging to the Chinese based company responsible for the DVDFab software. As of now, DVDFab and associated domains are inaccessible.

The order was issued following a law suit initiated by AACS, a decryption licensing consortium of movie studios and technology partners including Warner Bros, Disney, Microsoft and Intel. In its complaint, AACS accuses the DVDFab Group of violating the Digital Millennium Copyright Act’s anti-circumvention clause by selling tools that can bypass their DVD encryption. And, apparently, New York Federal Judge Vernon Broderick agrees.

The injunction, which was granted by Judge Broderick after DVDFab failed to respond in court, is unique in its scope, ordering several domain registrars to disable all domains associated with the DVDFab group. To add to DVDFab’s woes, Judge Broderick also ordered several banks and major payment providers to freeze or stop processing the company’s funds, including PayPal, Amazon Payments, Visa and MasterCard.

Here come da judge!

Here come da judge!

There is so much wrong with all this, I really don’t where to begin. The power of media organizations and the influence they are able to exert is way out of proportion. Okay, so the law exists, but who do we think might have lobbied for those laws in the first place?

Here is my main concern; if I were to purchase a DVD for my own personal use and wanted to make a backup of said DVD to store safely away, should I not have the right to do so? If the DVD is encrypted then the only way I can manage this is by removing the encryption.


My secondary concern is this; there are literally dozens of similar products available which openly advertize exactly the same claims of circumventing protection – why then was DVDFab singled out in particular? Perhaps because DVDFab is one of the most popular products of its type and the AACS is trusting that a win will set a a flow-on precedent?

DVD-smallerIt’s also disturbing that US law should impact globally in matters such as this. I am not an expert in copyright law, far from it. All I know is; if US authorities take down a site because of alleged owner/admin infractions relating to US law, then that site and its services or software are no longer accessible in my country (Australia)… regardless of whether those same laws apply in Australia or not.

Finally; and I’ve said this before, as far as I am concerned the media industry is a money-hungry, over-indulged behemoth. Income is generated at the box office. Again when the DVD rights are sold, Yet again when PayTV rights are sold. And yet again when Free-To-Air finally picks up the crumbs. And consumers pay through the nose accordingly.

Here’s an idea; instead of paying the “stars” millions of dollars to appear in movies, what about you rationalize that extravagance and pay an amount which is more commensurate with their time and effort? You have set the precedent, now you continue to bleat over purported lost income. There are two sides to net profit my friends, income and expenditure!

*DISCLAIMER: Neither I nor DCT condone the use of this type of software for purposes of piracy. I do, however, support the notion that consumers should be able to backup DVDs they have purchased for their own personal use with immunity.


 

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About the Author

Jim Hillier

Jim is the resident freeware aficionado at DCT. A computer veteran with 30+ years experience who first started writing about computers and tech back in the days when freeware was actually free. His first computer was a TRS-80 in the 1980s, he progressed through the Commodore series of computers before moving to PCs in the 1990s. Now retired (aka an old geezer), Jim retains his passion for all things tech and still enjoys building and repairing computers for a select clientele... as well as writing for DCT, of course.

12 Comments

  1. Hi Jim, good common sense comments as usual and just to say thank you for the prize I won last week.

    Best Regards.

  2. A sad day Jim. With the ability to d/l a movie via torrents, why go through the bother of getting an encrypted copy and then having to burn a decrypted version? I find the movie selection now so poor, that it’s not worth my while to even d/l a movie torrent. Better to PVR tv shows and save to disc for later viewing (if you find any worthwhile shows), Mindblower!

  3. Hi Jim, as you say, it should be the right of anybody purchasing DVDs or Blue-Ray Discs to be able to make a personal backup to keep in case of damage. It is so easy to damage your disc’s if they are not handled correctly especially if you have young children who don’t put them back in there cases after use. Maybe they just expect you to go out and purchase a new copy every time one gets damaged to keep there profits going up and up.

  4. I couldn’t agree more with you Jim – in fact the entertainment industry has been violating the “moral” rights of consumers for decades, lining their own pockets and those of a few big names. At the same time they also damage the lives of thousands of talented people by not giving them a fair share of pie. They are inflated to the point of bursting and I can only hope that soon someone will stick the pin in.

  5. totally agree with u! my kids are monsters, they damage the dvds each time they get their hands on it. why can’t I copy a dvd that I purchased that is my property. it does not belong to the studios anymore. I copy it for my own use, not for distribution.

  6. The RIAA/MPAA (aka “Hooligan B*st*rds and their Shenanigans) have been at this games since the early 70s. It started with radio “payola” scandals then they attempted to put an annoyingly audible notch in all LPs to be manufactured to prevent copying. Then, due to their cry of foul they forced copy prevention on cassette recorder manufacturers and then went further with forcing to levy an excise tax on all blank cassettes purchased. They kept crying foul that it was forcing recording artist to starve. Although, in front of Senate subcommittee they were found (TWICE) to be colluding and fixing prices of recorded music w/no penalties and admission of guilt. When CD recording capability came out, these same Hooligan B*st*rds forced to levy taxes on recordable CDs (for audio). This is when MP3s became the standard for sharing music and since they could not force PC CDR manufacturers to charge extra as with audio CD recorders, they kept crying foul and insisted that starving artists were still starving. All the while they were chomping on their fat cigars and pulling in profits in double digits. But starving artists were still starving and they never received one single cent from the proceeds of the “taxes” the consumers were paying. Their shenanigans continued with warnings and FBI threats before a consumer could watch a DVD movie that they had just paid for. They thought the DVD ‘region codes’ would prevent movie pirating. They kept spending millions upon millions attempting to subvert technologies that they could not harness. They were still fat and happy with a business model that was back from the 1960s era until Apple came up with a better plan of charging for each song. They still cried foul and starving artists continued to starve. They forced the “6 strikes law” (CAS http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copyright_Alert_System) onto the ISPs and spend additional millions upon millions to monitor BitTorrent download of movies and warn consumers that it was illegal to download movies >> they called this an ‘educational’ tool. Then, they tried to ban PopcornTime and now the DVDFab fiasco. They will never learn that they cannot stop technology, even as they would love to ban all VPN connections. I think it is high time that they start paying for all these efforts at the highest levels of our government. Our government servants surely must have much more important agenda than to fraternize with these Hooligan B*st*rds and their shenanigans. In the beginning of the 21st century I had already amassed over 3000+ LPs and 2000+ pre-recorded CDs. I finally stopped paying for their expensive cigars and never again.

  7. YOU miss the point. I can’t “backup” my money by copying it. Therefore I shouldn’t be allowed to backup movies either. And when the President wants to appoint you as a judge he will let you know.

    • Linda,
      While money and DVDs are both physical assets they have significant differences. If your toddler slightly damages a monetary bill it can still be used. If your toddler slightly damages a DVD it is useless.
      Further, (at least in the US) a damaged bill, even damaged to the point of ash, will be replaced free of charge by the US Department of Treasury – they even actively replace bills as they circulate through the banking system. Your chances of having a damaged DVD replaced reside somewhere between slim and nil.
      No one here is suggesting or supporting piracy, just the ability to protect purchases and consume the purchased media as we see fit. What if all debts had to be made with the exact same method, such as a $1 bill completely undamaged, of course. Want a new car? Carry 20000 of those bills with you. Seems silly doesn’t it?
      Maybe a better analogy explaining the usage problem would be that you are required to purchase a new and different car for each trip you take. Basically you would need one car to drive to work, one to drive to the grocery, one for the department store, one for taking the kids to baseball, etc. Seems expensive and wasteful, doesn’t it? Now if one of those cars breaks or gets a scratch in the paint you have to buy a new one. Still silly.

    • So, you’re comparing cash with DVDs… apples and oranges.

      And, I wasn’t setting myself up as a judge, merely expressing an opinion, same as you’ve expressed yours. Although I do believe I expressed mine rather less rudely.