Court Order Against Chinese Software Site Raises Questions

dvdfabAfter representatives of the Chinesce software company, DVDFab  failed to appear in court, a New York federal judge gave in to a lawsuit spearheaded by Warner Bros., Disney, Intel and Microsoft to seize several domain names, bank accounts, social media sites and prevent credit card payments to the software company. Some of the software developed by DVDFab is designed to make backup copies of DVDS or BluRay discs owned by the user, however it appears that none of the software distributed by the company was intended to copy computer software such as Microsoft operating programs, raising the legal issue about whether a company can sue someone in court if they can’t prove any damage to them. Further, the lawsuit was directed against a foreign company operating on foreign soil, where there hasn’t been any Chinese legal action against the company, where the company appears to be operating lawfully in China.

DVDFab offers a number of unique software products, including products to convert 2D video files into 3D files and a number of other interesting software products. But, in the case of software that can copy a DVD or BluRay disc and create a user owned backup copy, the plaintiffs argued in court that DVDFab was operating in violation of U.S. laws, although the U.S. Supreme Court has never ruled whether laws aimed at such software are illegal to sell. That is still a question for the high court to decide at some point.

Lobbyists for digital media producers have successfully lobbied congress for special rights legislation to supposedly protect their products from decryption software. However, these laws seem legally suspect because they deny users rights to products they purchased to make compilations or other special edition editing, much like you can do on a computer using audio files ripped from a Cd. For years, copying records on a cassette or copying Cds on a computer has been very popular. But, with movies and digital media, producers have pushed for special rights to overprotect their products where video recorder, DVD recorders, computers and other devices have had software or chips installed to prevent the copying of digital images. In the past, some courts have protected the rights of home users to time shift record TV programs while at work or away from home, but instead during the digital era, lobbyists have talked congress into voting for special rights for those that deal in digital media.

At some point the High Court will have a full plate deciding how to balance previously affirmed consumer rights and business interests overzealous to protect their products from consumers who purchased these products to use them as they desire, even if that involves converting a favorite DVD to 3D using software such as DVDFab offers.

DVDFab has a creative team of software professionals who have developed some interesting software. But, whether their software is actually illegal to sell really needs to be settled in the High Court. For now, DVDFab has decided to save their money and not fight the big lawyers from Warner, Disney, Intel or Microsoft, but to simply set up new domain sites or social networks to market their goods, creating a legal cat and mouse game.


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