Mumbai: Member companies of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) have filed breach of contract lawsuits in US District Court against China-based DVD player manufacturers Gowell Electronics and Nanjing Wanlida Technology.
The lawsuits assert that Gowell and Wanlida manufacture and sell DVD players that lack appropriate security features used to prohibit the unlawful reproduction and distribution of motion pictures in breach of the Content Scramble System (CSS) license. The studios are seeking injunctions requiring full compliance with the CSS license agreement and a recall of all products in violation of the CSS license.
"Compliance with the CSS license is critical in protecting copyrighted material from infringement. Every company that has signed the CSS license must honor its terms by making secure products that protect DVD content. Eight courts have issued permanent injunctions banning future violations of the license, and we intend to vigorously pursue other violators through the courts," said MPAA senior vice president and associate general counsel Dan Robbins.
The CSS license mandates the content protection that enables film studios to provide consumers with over 84,000 DVD titles, including over 12,000 new titles last year alone. The motion picture studios are third-party beneficiaries of the CSS license and may enforce it against licensees who fail to comply with its terms. The studios have won two injunctions against DVD player manufacturers and six injunctions against DVD chip manufacturers. MPAA member companies are presently investigating other products that may violate the CSS license and will consider appropriate enforcement action where violations are found.
The worldwide motion picture industry, including foreign and domestic producers, distributors, theaters, video stores and pay-per-view operators lost $18.2 billion in 2005 as a result of piracy –over $7 billion of which is attributed to Internet piracy and more than $11 billion attributed to hard goods piracy including bootlegging and illegal copying.