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Fair Use and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA): A Case for Judicial Review?
Unformatted Document Text:  14 The suit by RealNetworks against Streambox’s products was based on section 1201 of DMCA alleging that Streambox violated the anti-trafficking provisions of DMCA. 35 Other charges against Streambox by RealNetworks included contributory infringement and contract interference. Streambox through their VCR allegedly circumvented both security features of the RealPlayer . Content owners depended on these security features for protection against unauthorized duplication and distribution of their copyrighted works. In doing this, Streambox violated the access control and the anti-circumvention device provisions of the DMCA. RealNetworks was able to obtain a preliminary injunction from the District Court for the Western District of Washington against the Streambox VCR and the Ferret but failed to obtain an injunction against the Ripper 36 even though all three products were initially enjoined by a temporary restraining order entered on December 23, 1999. 37 The court held that the Streambox VCR circumvents both an access control measure by imitating the secret handshake to gain access to the RealMedia files and a copy protection measure by ignoring the copy switch. 38 The charge of contributory copyright infringement formed the basis for enjoining the Ferret because it alters the components of the RealPlayer. 39 The Ripper was found to be potentially beneficial to the copyright owner because its uses were conversion and not copying and hence did not violate the DMCA. 40 RealNetworks was principally concerned about two things. The potential for content owners to lose money from advertising due to reduced number of people visiting the website. Once viewers are able to download the content from the copyright’s owners’ website, they had no need to view the streaming version each time as they could just view their personal downloaded version. 41 Their second concern is an extension of the first—once downloaded, the downloaded content could be sent to anybody and everybody very easily. 42 35 Check citation 36 RealNetworks, 2000 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 1889 at 2-3 37 See http://www.realnetweoks.com/company/press/releases/2000/streambox_0118.html?UK=X visited on October 25, 2002 p.2. 38 RealNetworks, 2000 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 1889 at 18-19. See also the analysis of the case by Eddan Katz, Intellectual Property A. Copyright 3. Digital Millennium Copyright Act a)Anti-Circumvention Provisions: RealNetworks, Inc. v. Streambox, Inc. & Universal City Studios, Inc. v. Reimerdes, 16 Berkeley Tech. L.J. 53 (2001) p. 3 39 Id. at 33 40 Id. at 27-30 41 Id. at 7-8 42 Id. at 13

Authors: Abah, Adedayo.
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background image
14
The suit by RealNetworks against Streambox’s products was based on section 1201 of
DMCA alleging that Streambox violated the anti-trafficking provisions of DMCA.
35
Other
charges against Streambox by RealNetworks included contributory infringement and contract
interference. Streambox through their VCR allegedly circumvented both security features of the
RealPlayer . Content owners depended on these security features for protection against
unauthorized duplication and distribution of their copyrighted works. In doing this, Streambox
violated the access control and the anti-circumvention device provisions of the DMCA.
RealNetworks was able to obtain a preliminary injunction from the District Court for the
Western District of Washington against the Streambox VCR and the Ferret but failed to obtain
an injunction against the Ripper
36
even though all three products were initially enjoined by a
temporary restraining order entered on December 23, 1999.
37
The court held that the Streambox
VCR circumvents both an access control measure by imitating the secret handshake to gain
access to the RealMedia files and a copy protection measure by ignoring the copy switch.
38
The
charge of contributory copyright infringement formed the basis for enjoining the Ferret because
it alters the components of the RealPlayer.
39
The Ripper was found to be potentially beneficial to
the copyright owner because its uses were conversion and not copying and hence did not violate
the DMCA.
40
RealNetworks was principally concerned about two things. The potential for content
owners to lose money from advertising due to reduced number of people visiting the website.
Once viewers are able to download the content from the copyright’s owners’ website, they had
no need to view the streaming version each time as they could just view their personal
downloaded version.
41
Their second concern is an extension of the first—once downloaded, the
downloaded content could be sent to anybody and everybody very easily.
42
35
Check citation
36
RealNetworks, 2000 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 1889 at 2-3
37
See
http://www.realnetweoks.com/company/press/releases/2000/streambox_0118.html?UK=X
visited on October
25, 2002 p.2.
38
RealNetworks, 2000 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 1889 at 18-19. See also the analysis of the case by Eddan Katz, Intellectual
Property A. Copyright 3. Digital Millennium Copyright Act a)Anti-Circumvention Provisions: RealNetworks, Inc. v.
Streambox, Inc
. & Universal City Studios, Inc. v. Reimerdes, 16 Berkeley Tech. L.J. 53 (2001) p. 3
39
Id. at 33
40
Id. at 27-30
41
Id. at 7-8
42
Id. at 13


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