Hollywood studios win suit against China DVD player maker


MUMBAI: The Motion Picture Association of America, Inc. (MPAA) member studios have won a breach of contract lawsuit against China-based DVD player manufacturer Nanjing Wanlida Technology Co., Ltd. (Wanlida).

The US District Court for the Central District of California issued a permanent injunction that prohibits Wanlida from violating any copy protection requirement of the Content Scramble System (CSS) license agreement. Additionally, the studios are allowed to review and test any new products from Wanlida that incorporate the CSS technology before those products go to market. The Court also awarded attorney’s fees to the studios.

"This judgment is another significant victory for content owners because compliance with the CSS license is critical to protecting copyrighted material from infringement. Like the decisions earlier this week against RealNetworks and Kaleidescape, this ruling further affirms that CSS licensees must honor all of the terms of the license agreement they signed by making secure products that protect DVD content from unauthorized copying. Our members will continue to monitor the market and vigorously pursue other violators through future litigation," said MPAA senior vice president and associate general counsel Dan Robbins.

This is the tenth such case in which a court has issued a permanent injunction banning future violations of the license. The MPAA member studios filed suit in June 2008 after an MPAA investigation revealed that Wanlida was manufacturing and selling DVD players without some of the content security features used to prohibit the unlawful reproduction and distribution of motion pictures in breach of the CSS license agreement.

CSS technology is a security measure that controls unauthorized access to and copying of copyrighted content on DVDs. 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 CSS license mandates content protection that makes it possible for any content owner to release its content in a format that is user-friendly, and at the same time secure against unauthorized access and copying.