A Judge has ruled that the Kaleidescape movie server (basically a big box that rips and stores DVDs on hard disk) did not violate its licensing agreement with the DVD-CCA:
Kaleidescape argued, first and foremost, that nothing in the DVD-CCA
licensing agreement prohibits the development of products that allow
users to copy their DVDs.
Indeed, that's exactly what Judge Leslie C. Nichols ruled today in
the non-jury trial at the Downtown Superior Court of Santa Clara in San
Jose, Calif. There was no breach of contract.
That seems to be good news for those of us who like the server concept and would like to make copies of our DVDs for our own (fair) use. However, the judge seems to have sidestepped the copyright and fair use issues, such that this ruling probably will turn out to be pretty narrow and not constitute a useful precedent.
Because of this ruling, the Judge did not have to get into copyright
issues, so the Kaleidescape ruling has no copyright implications. It is
not a statement on the legality of ripping DVDs.
There was the possibility that copyright issues could have come into
play. The DVD-CCA submitted to the Court a particular document, the
"CSS General Specifications," that it asserted was part of the
The CSS General Specifications document includes wording about
thwarting the "unauthorized copying" of DVD's. The issue of what
constitutes an unauthorized copy could have come up, but Judge Nichols
ruled that the document in fact is not part of the DVD-CCA licensing