A Superior Court judge ruled Thursday a startup's media server does not violate the CSS DVD protection technology because the standard licensing contract and specifications for the technology are so poorly worded.
Judge Leslie C. Nichols ruled against the DVD Copy Control Association (DVD CCA) in a suit that asked the court to force Kaleidescape to change its design or stop selling its server that stores hundreds of DVD movies on a hard drive array.
Nichols of the Santa Clara Superior Court said the basis for his decision was his ruling that an entire section of the DVD CCA's spec for the Content Scramble System (CSS) was not technically included as part of the license agreement. As a result, Kaleidescape is in full compliance with the DVD Copy Control Association's license to the Content Scramble System, according to the ruling.
"Kaleidescape has been operating in the shadow of the DVD CCA's allegations for over three years. We are gratified that after hearing all of the evidence, the Judge has completely vindicated our position," said Michael Malcolm, founder, chairman and CEO of Kaleidescape.
Kaleidescape's media servers are available at prices starting at $10,000 and up. The Kaleidescape system imports DVDs into a hard drive array for future playback. The DVD disks do not remain in the system, something the DVD CCA said would allow users to keep unauthorized digital copies of rented or borrowed DVDs.
Kaleidescape maintained the CSS agreement allowed the company to build a system that kept a single, protected copy of a DVD on a hard drive for private use. The company has a policy against importing rented and borrowed DVDs. It said the fact such disks could still be imported is a problem for studios, not Kaleidescape to solve.
The decision could open the door for other systems makers who want to design personal video libraries that store DVD movies on hard drives.