MPAA tells DVD makers how to play the game

We all know this goose stepping by the entertainment industry through trade organizations like the RIAA and MPAA is ludicrous and wrong; but for some reason they haven’t gotten the memo yet. While they dance around the dying fires of their business though they aren’t letting up on their erectile dysfunction like attitude about how the consumer has no rights.

According to a c|net article posted today the MPAA has won a breach of contract lawsuit against China-based DVD player manufacturer Gowell Electronics. As a result the US District Court for the Central District of California has issued a permanent injunction against the company that prohibits Gowell from violating any terms of the Content Scramble System (CSS) license agreement.

Big deal right?

Well actually it is when you realize that it is this CSS licence agreement which enables the MPAA to enforce the manufacturers to employ the CSS technology. DVD manufacturers are required to sign if they want to sell DVD players in the US. It is this technology that controls the unauthorized access to and copying of copyrighted content on DVDs. As noted in the c|net article

The CSS license mandates the content protection that enables film studios to provide consumers with more than 84,000 DVD titles, including 12,000 new titles last year alone.

The motion picture studios are third-party beneficiaries of the CSS license and may enforce it against licensees who fail to comply with its terms.

While this is the ninth such case in which a court has issued a permanent injunction banning future violations of the license, this time the plaintiffs are allowed to review and test any new or re-engineered products that incorporate the CSS technology before going to market.

It is the last part of this where the boys at the MPAA must just be getting all excited over now because now they get to review any new DVD players that are coming into the US market. No incorporation of CSS then you don’t sell in the US. So in effect an entertainment trade group now controls what equipment you can buy in the US if it even hints at being a DVD player.