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Apple, Microsoft, Real and Adobe sued RRS feed

  • Question

  • Media Rights Technology (MRT) has sent cease-and-desist letters to giants Microsft, Adobe, Real and Apple claiming that their products, including Vista, Flash, RealPlayer and iTunes all infringe the DMCA.

    "Together these four companies are responsible for 98 percent of the media players in the marketplace; CNN, NPR, Clear Channel, MySpace, Yahoo, and YouTube all use these infringing devices to distribute copyrighted works," said MRT CEO Hank Risan in a statement. "We will hold the responsible parties accountable. The time of suing John Doe is over."

    The argument that MRT is using is kind of confusing. They are not a content owner so it seems strange that they are suing under the DMCA. They claim that the media player software created by Apple, etc, can "tune into digital music streams like Internet radio stations, many of which are transmitted without any sort of DRM attached. Although streams are designed to be ephemeral, it's trivial to use streamripper software to snag copies of the songs being played through such services."

    MRT argues that the four companies should use some form of DRM to protect those streams. However, MRT only recommends one form of DRM, their very own "X1 SeCure [sic] Recording Control."

    The lawsuits threatened can possibly lead to "statutory damages of at least $200 to $2500 for each product distributed or sold" unless they adopt the company's proprietary streamripping protection code. The legal argument at work here is that, under the DMCA, "mere avoidance of an effective copyright protection solution is a violation of the act."

    There is a flaw in MRTs argument however. Certain companies like CNN and NPR distribute their own content legally and without stream protection, because, well, they own the content. Is MRT implying that the content prividers need to put stream protection on thier own content? Also why would the software providers get in trouble if the streams are meant to not have DRM protection?

    Basically, this seems like a huge ploy to get these media giants to use MRT's stream protection DRM and according to Risan "actively avoiding the use of MRT's technologies and failure to comply with this demand could result in a federal court injunction to any of the above named parties to cease production or sale of their products."

    In a statement from last month, Risan claims that stream rippers are a larger problem than P2P file sharers."Stream Rippers [sic] are growing at the rate of well over 15 million units per month, with over 250 million user downloads in the last few years, costing the entertainment industry $20 billion to $50 billion annually. The problem has now eclipsed P2P file sharing as the #1 form of digital piracy." He also claims that Vista includes a built-in ripper—the dastardly Sound Recorder, which can "deaggregate performance-based streams of unlimited duration and convert them into unprotected WMA downloads, easily uploaded onto Zune players."

    Although those facts amy be true, they are all based on "recent MRT studies" and RIAA studies as well.

    It seems MRT is now making it a requirement to use their DRM scheme, whether you like it or not.

    Wednesday, June 6, 2007 6:51 AM

All replies

  • OMG. Thanks for the news. Looks like a lot of loss for the company.
    Wednesday, June 6, 2007 6:02 PM
  • Thanx for the info dude..
    Wednesday, June 6, 2007 11:38 PM
  • thanks for the info
    Saturday, June 9, 2007 11:29 AM
  • No matter how many rules are set up, no matter what level of security there are always loopholes in any and every system...

    Thanks for the info.

    Sunday, June 10, 2007 9:44 AM