November 17, 2006 3:30 PM PST

Movie studios sue DVD-to-iPod service

The Motion Picture Association of America, citing copyright violations, has sued a company that sells digital media players and offers to transfer customers' CD and DVD collections to the devices.

The MPAA, the trade group representing the film industry, contends that the company, Load 'N Go, isn't licensed to sell DVDs or rip them to customers' media players.

"This company is in the business of offering unlawful copies of DVDs," said Kori Bernards, an MPAA spokeswoman. "It makes unauthorized copies of movies and TV shows from encrypted DVDs and copies them on to portable video players."

On Friday, attempts to reach the operators of Boston-based Load 'N Go were unsuccessful. The company's Web site could not be accessed. A customer service number was disconnected and e-mails bounced back.

Fred von Lohmann, a senior staff attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, called the suit Hollywood's attempt to force consumers to pay multiple times for the same content.

"This (lawsuit) would apply to you making a copy of your own DVDs in your own home," von Lohmann said. "The movie industry is not just fighting piracy. They are in fact trying to take away your fair use rights and sell them back to you later."

"Fair use" refers to guidelines that negotiate the interplay between content producers and consumers.

Fair Use proponents argue that consumers should have wide-ranging rights when it comes to content they legally purchase. They contend, for example, that a DVD owner should be free to transfer their movie onto any device they want.

The problem for Load 'N Go, says von Lohmann, is the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998, which outlaws any technology created to undermine copyright protection schemes.

Cases tried in New York have found that ripping CDs or DVDs violates the DMCA, von Lohmann said.

See more CNET content tagged:
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Entertainment companies are so slow it's sad...
There had better be something more to this story than what they say. From what I can gather from the website, you buy one of a selection of video players AND buy a DVD, then they rip the dvd to your player and you get both the player and the DVD. The buy has purchased the DVD, so I'm not sure they can make this one stick.

The MPAA is going to have to find a way to deal with coming portable player surge. It's doubtful that people will pay for thier content a second time, especially for a lower quality version like you would have on an iPod or creative M vision. By all means guys, keep beating up your customers.
Posted by mattumanu (599 comments )
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What we need is for a company to do this off shore where the DMCA doesn't apply.
Posted by perfectblue97 (326 comments )
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eventually the riaa and/or the mpaa will go after the wrong guy,
and he will mount a vicious and malicious vendetta against them.

or google will buy them.
Posted by timonkey (5 comments )
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Include a portable format on the DVD!
The studios should add a copy of the movie that is suitable for portable players to DVDs instead of the trailers that they insert before you get to the menu screen. Why not? Because they want you to pay again for what you already purchased.
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Posted by artem4ik (1 comment )
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I think it' not very serious if you just use converting service for watching <a href="">ipod movie</a> in your own home.
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Posted by coconunu (14 comments )
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