Feds Close down 321 Studios makers of DVD copying software

I confess. I make copies of my DVDs. I keep the original safe and play the copies. The reason why DVD X Copy was important is that many DVDs are on 2-sided 9 gig discs, while DVD’s are still 4.5 gigs. You need to break the encryption and shrink the content in order to fit it on one disc, even spliting the data onto 2 dics sometimes requires breaking the encryption.

One of the easiest and best ways to do this was using 321 software, but they are gone.

What purpose can this possibly serve, except to piss people off? Right now, I can download and have any number of open source alternatives, that combined will do what DVD X Copy did and i will or I can really become an outlaw and download a copy or DVD X Copy using peer to peer and NO ONE will know and 321 can’t get any profit.

It seems to me that most “pirates” wouldn’t use DVD X Copy, mainly because it creates a Splash screen notice that the disc is a copy, whenever you use it to make one. Futher having a real honest to goodness company that you can actual track sales of, seems like a good thing. If you want to follow or predict treads in coping.

Now I’m all for copyright protection and companies protecting their tech, but that ends once I purchase it. It’s mine to do with as i please. I can burn it, break it and copy it for personal use or back-up or at least i thought I could.

The question, was this a smart move by the movie industry or does it just give people the excuse to break the rules even further?

And at some point ,you have to realize that your basically small potatos , compared to the asian and european black marketers , who are the real targets of this.

You can get around it , as you stated with the open source versions , or probably having an old copy of 321, but it makes life harder , supposedly for the pirates

People will always break the rules , up here in Canada , for some reason those idiots in Ottawa decided that they were gonna sell the rights for direct broadcasting via sattelite , namely to ExpressVu and Starchoice , for the legal fiction of having competition.

What happens is that people go and buy directTV and dish network dishes , pirate there signals and become a problem to that industry. They fire back with better encryption , which means the DirectTv settop , is basically now a paper weight.

The pirate Industry fires back with Free to air settops , which only snatch signals out of existing Kband Satellites (I believe) ,and now lo and behold this is also piracy ,cause only two companys have the Rights to sell signals in Canada.

For the movie industry , in reality its only option at the moment is to have all dvd’s , vcr’s and Tivos made ilegal , since they have lost the support of the people that obey laws, and just go back to their core industry of showing movies in Theaters.

At some point they are going to have to accept the fact that they are going to be taking a certain percentage of losses ,due to this ,and come up with a new biz plan. Which I do believe that they have at least thought about.


Huh? There are at least 10 other companies that make a similar product. Are there lawsuits against them too?

The problem is that DVD X COPY has a 3 limit install on it, after which you have to get a new serial number…I believe they’ve increased that to 10 …but once that’s up you’re lot of luck, the software is unusable as the company is gone.

Again no big deal for those of us in the know, but i don’t like the average joe, getting the shaft and that’s what’s happened. They SHOULD be able to click a button and back up their stuff…

If this isn’t going to stop me, I doubt it will stop the Asian/Euro black marketers who do this for a living, and I still doubt that they even use the product. It’s just not geared for MASS illegal activities, as the company could be quite intrusive in it’s own way; which they had to be in an attempt to keep the feds off. Part of the limited installation was an attempt to restrict illegal use of their product, as well as protect it.

Absolutely, but I think when “Big” government or corporations are seen as restricting their rights to use what they paid for as they chose…people who might not have considered piracy as an option, now do as a matter of “payback” or if I pirate 6 DVDs from blockbuster, I’m recouping the $149 I lost when they shut down 321 and I can’t use my software any more or I can’t get my rebate… and once they realize how EASY IT IS…you’ve lost them as a consumer.

I think 321 was the first to offer an all-in-one COMMERICAL solution and that’s why they were the first to go…the rest will follow.

One more thing, you COULDN’T use it copy rental DVDs, it’s sole purpose was to copy RETAIL dvds that were purchased. Which seems legal to me.

A number of arguments here don’t convince me.

First, “Other people are doing it - are they getting sued?” doesn’t work for me. Two wrongs don’t make a right. Obviously, someone has to be the first to be sued. It’s really a variant on the general argument I keep seeing that one cannot cure ONE evil unless one cures ALL evils. It just doesn’t make sense to me.

Second, “They’re just gonna piss people off, and then people will pirate DVDs even MORE”, doesn’t convince me either. Should producers of copyrighted material have to placate those who illegally distribute their works? Should they have to capitulate in every instance merely out of fear of bootlegger retribution? If people are breaking the law, it doesn’t make sense to give them free reign to do so out of fear that they will break the law more.

Third, “They’ll just find some other way to do it” - That may be true, but you have to fight one battle at a time. Again, I don’t see how that’s an argument that they should just capitulate.

Really, the only argument I find at all convincing is that this software couldn’t really be used for bootlegging. So I have 2 questions on that. One, does this “Splash screen” notice really prevent bootlegging? I thought there was a market for bootlegged DVDs, and that many people know perfectly well that they are buying illegally copied material. So how would a notice deter them? And two, is there no way to get around this notice? What I’m wondering here is whether this “Splash screen” notice isn’t just a token measure to make it appear that the software can’t be used for nefarious purposes, but is something that can easily be defeated. It certainly wouldn’t be the first time such a thing has been done.

I’m also having a hard time seeing why it’s so important for you to back up DVDs - do they really have that high of a failure rate? If indeed, the people who brought the lawsuit have succeeded only in preventing people from making backup copies that wouldn’t be used by anyone other than the original purchaser, then yeah - that’s pretty stupid. Somehow, I don’t believe that they would waste that much effort on such a trivial thing. Maybe they are that stupid, but I’m skeptical.

What I said was: Huh? There are at least 10 other companies that make a similar product. Are there lawsuits against them too?

I didn’t mean that since others make similar products, they should be given a free pass. I was rather pointing out the selectivity of the law. 321 Studios got themselves quite a lot of publicity lately and they attracted lawsuits. There are out there specialized programs twice as capable as DVDXCopy or GameXCopy, but nobody has heared of them (in the mainsteam media, that is), so they are not bothered by the law.

It’s not a matter of placating, it’s a matter of understanding human nature. If the “industry” has just rendered my $149 investment worthless, because they decide I don’t have the right to use my LEGALLY purchased merchandise in a way I see fit…because they fear that some body is going to use it ILLEGALLY…then I’m going to prove them right.

I’m going to get my money back. The only way I can do that is by “stealing” their product. Is it a rationalization…sure, but to ignore that element of society is foolish, if you’re trying to protect something that can ONLY be protected by the honour system. They can’t prevent me from doing this if I want to…therefor they need to make me not want to…pirate that is.

Removing an easy way for the average person to copy their legally purchased product, isn’t the way to do that.

They can not stop this at the individual user level…they should spend their resources stopping the big boys from distribution, not the home user who MAY buy a copy of Kill Bill and sell the original on eBay. Remember you can’t use this software to copy RENTALS…someone has to purchase at least one copy.

The technology will not disappear, the way to protect your product is to either make it so it’s not profitable to steal it or to make the penalities so high, that it simply isn’t worth it to do so.

Of course it can be used for pirating, however your assumption that most people know they are buying pirated materials is in error. They don’t and small time eBay pirates who are obvious about what they are doing, soon find themselves with a cease and desist notice.

Having a big splash screen warning about FBI action and telling the purchaser that they have in FACT purchased a copied, copyrighted item isn’t a smart move and I don’t know about you but if I paid money and received an obvious copy I would be demanding my money back and then reporting.

And yes the Splash Screen can be removed, but again I can’t stress this enough, the market for this item wouldn’t know how, nor want to go through the effort of removing it. I can I, yes…did I? No.

There is NO way that the government can stop individuals from using ANY technology for “nefarious” purposes. What they can and should do is prevent the big boys who wouldn’t use this product anyway. As I said before, this can be a very intrusive software and if you’re using it for illegal purposes, you’re looking for trouble…it isn’t worth it when there are better and less intrustive products available open source. Christ, I can purchase a duplicating machine and avoid this problem totally, do you really think pirates are sitting in front of Wintel boxes burning one dvd at a time?

It’s not a matter of failure rate as so much human error. I stated backing up after my youngest popped her Scooby Doo DVD out of the DVD Drive and into the VCR, destroying it…we had it literally two mintues. Turned to grab the remote and it was Gone. I myself have dropped a DVD, then stepped on it—scratching it, but was lucky to have a Disc Doctor and saved it.

Crap happens, I don’t see why I shouldn’t be allowed use technology to protect my investment.

and yes they are that stupid.

Absolutely and if you read those sites they often condemn 321 for not being a professional level product…not having enough features or control…for charging money for things that could be found free and that Moore kinda pushed this with his stance on fair rights…all true.

However it was designed for the home user, not the serious copier and certainly not anyone who pirates for a living. It’s like making having 2 vcrs illegal, because you can use them to copy tape to tape. So what?

I simply like the average joe to have the same options as those with more knowledge and experience and now they’re one step back.

I still don’t get the argument. If they had sued one of those OTHER companies you mention, wouldn’t somebody just say, “Gee, why didn’t they sue 321 Studios - it’s not fair?” You’re still arguing that if they sue one company without suing all the others, that it’s unfair. But I’m saying that somebody has to be first. Doesn’t matter who they pick, it’ll be seen as unfair by someone.

No he’s not. He’s saying that if the Industry was serious about preventing piracy or copyright protection, they would/should go after the programs that are used by PROFESSIONAL pirates and not a program that Mrs. Smith is going to use, who will most likely never use that software to pirate.

But that’s not the issue. The issue is they don’t think that you have the right to break their copyright protection even though you have the right (at least i think you do) of fair use.

Somebody’s rights are going to have give and I don’t see why I has the person PAYING for that DVD or CD lose my right to control my purchase…it’s not like the have a return policy for damaged or wear and tear…

You want the industry to buckle under because you are threatening to steal from them? Sorry, but that’s utter nonsense. If it were my decision, I would never give in to such extortion.

I don’t understand why you keep emphasizing “legally purchased”. You realize that legally purchasing a DVD does not automatically give you the right to reproduce copyrighted material, right?

I’m pretty sure they’re also trying to bust up the major operations, too. Problem is, for every one you shut down, two more are going to spring up.

But whenever bootleggers do get prosecuted, everyone bitches and moans about THAT too. And I hear constant complaints that the penalties are already TOO high. You’re the first person I’ve heard that wants them to be higher.

But every time you shut down one eBay bootlegger, 10 more are going to spring up. There’s no way you could keep up with them.

So you’re saying that you, an average Joe who only uses the software to back up Scooby Doo DVDs, etc., figured out how to defeat the Splash Screen warning, yet you don’t believe that a bootlegger would be able to do so? I don’t get it.

Sure, I bet people are doing that, and selling them on eBay and at flea markets.

And I don’t see as how a company owes you two products in case you break one.

Oh, I see. So which company should they have sued, and why do you think they didn’t sue that company?

By the way, according to this article, the plaintiffs did provide evidence to the court that people are in fact using the software to run pirating businesses.

I didn’t say it is unfair, it is just ironic.


Then don’t. Push it underground…that’ll really help. Instead of having a controllable, trackable method of gauging copying and having a built in anti-piracy protection…you now have dozens of splinter groups feeling that revolutionary feeling that open source provides and no copyright protection what so ever. That’ll work.

Yea I do…the Fair Use Doctrine…I have the right to make 1 back-up copy of digital media. (in theory) It’s the encryption and DMA that is running counter to that. One of them is going to have to give and I’m sorry it won’t be me. I have no problem with rentals, but once i pay for it, it’s mine.


I’m pretty sure they’re also trying to bust up the major operations, too. Problem is, for every one you shut down, two more are going to spring up…But every time you shut down one eBay bootlegger, 10 more are going to spring up. There’s no way you could keep up with them. [/qoute]

So? Arrest them, but leave me alone…hell people steal guns…let’s take everyone’s guns!

Let me clarify… The average joe; which I am not, will not break the 321 Splash warning. The pirate who can, wouldn’t bother using this software, as it is for the homeuser and lacks the features that a professional would use… I although not an average Joe, often like a click and point solution, as opposed to using the 3 or so programs that I would have to use in order to make a copy. Get it now?

It’s the same product…What two products are they giving me? What I paid for is the content, the disc is method of delivering it. If i say copied the content to a harddrive, have them given me TWO products? What if I burn them to VCD, have they given me two products? What if I downloaded it from their servers, can I then copy it to another hard-drive is THAT giving me two products? I paid for the content and as the medium it is on is not indestructable, I reserve the right to protect my investment.

If they don’t what me making backups, then offer me a lifetime replacement of the content…problem solved.

It’s mine, I paid for it and I will do with it has I please…just not with DVD X Copy.

How many people? How many discs did they produced? Did they remove the splash screen?

How about this, they didn’t remove the splash screen and got reported by a disguntled customer. If that 's the case, then the anti-pirating protection worked and they were caught.

Problem solved.

Generally, when you argue that the law is being applied selectively, which is what you said, you are implying an issue of fairness exists, but whatever…

YOU’RE the one making the claim that pirates don’t use that software, in obvious contradiction of the evidence presented in court. Why don’t YOU prove your point?

Pure speculation.

No my main point was over and over that this isn’t the software of PROFESSIONALS be they pirates or not…these bums got caught…hardly professionals are they?