back to article This is what happens when a judge in New York orders an e-hit on a Chinese software biz

A New York court has tried to knock DVD ripping software biz Fengtao offline by issuing an injunction against its domain names, social networking accounts and online payment systems. Judge Vernon Broderick ordered [PDF] that dozens of domain names including DVDFab.com, DVDFab.net, DVDFab.jp, DVDFab.de, Ray-ripper.us, Boooya. …

  1. Ole Juul

    Good

    Nice to see the internet is still working as it should. The legal system is suspect though.

    1. big_D Silver badge

      Re: Good

      Yeah, I was wondering when America had invaded Germany and taken over its legal system, or Japan's for that matter.

      The same for payment processing, the best they could hope for is to get the processing companies to refuse US credit cards. If the software has not yet been banned in other countries, then payment using cards from those countries would still be legal and the payment processing companies could find themselves in hot water.

      1. cs94njw

        Re: Good

        Visa and Mastercard are American companies though...

        1. big_D Silver badge

          Re: Good

          But they have worldwide subsidiaries that are processing payments that are legal in those other countries, they are only not legal in the US, therefore they can only block sales in the USA, otherwise they could face stiff fines by financial authorities where they are refusing to process legal payments.

  2. Sanctimonious Prick
    Thumb Down

    Shameful

    I find it shameful, and just plain wrong that a US judge can have so much power outside it's jurisdiction!

    hmmpf!

    1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

      Re: Shameful

      It would be funny if the company then sued Visa/Mastercard for blocking payments in China, won, and made them pay out $Million/day or whatever in compensation. Same for Google, Facebook, whatever. See how it feels when another big country extends its laws to the US business.

      Make it big enough and the US laws might change. After all, the only thing that seems to matter in US politics or law-making is money.

    2. Dan Paul

      Re: Shameful (Shoe is on the other foot?)

      What is shameful is that Europeans can't understand the same issue applies when you want to regulate US companies. I agree that the US Legal system should have no direct authority beyond US borders but that assumes that European courts have no jurisdiction of US companies. Like deserves kind.

      However, US courts DO have complete control over Mastercard and Visa, Paypal, EBay etc. Cutting off their air supply is one way to gain compliance with the judges ruling.

      1. BristolBachelor Gold badge
        Stop

        Re: Shameful (Shoe is on the other foot?)

        Apples and Oranges.

        "I agree that the US Legal system should have no direct authority beyond US borders" and "...assumes that European courts have no jurisdiction of US companies"

        I see how you have confused legal borders with who a shareholder is. If "Facebook Ireland", which is a company firmly within the borders or Ireland (and also within Europe) does things that are contra to Irish or European law, then why shouldn't the Irish or European law system be able to rectify the problem? What difference does it make if "Facebook Ireland" is owned by an entity in the US?

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. Pascal Monett Silver badge

        Re: that assumes that European courts have no jurisdiction of US companies

        Um, sorry but what example do you have of a European court having jurisdiction over a US company, or even pretending it did ?

        Has there been a judge in Europe deciding that Microsoft had to hand over all emails on its servers because it has a subsidiary in the judges country ?

        I'm curious, please enlighten me.

  3. mistersaxon

    That software is a lifesaver - if only the activation didn't require a connection to their servers every time making their BluRay player impossible to use on an airplane, for example, unless you leave it running before you suspend your laptop. But I travel for business and like to NOT have to cart around a bluray player in order to watch films I own already.

    1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

      Similar to slysoft's AnyDVD I guess.

    2. g e

      Own?

      I imagine any MAFIAA lawyer would briskly point out that you own the physical material that was in the shrinkwrap but you license the content thereon, making you a supporter of terrorists and perhaps someone who would steal a car in their opinion, should you feel a need to make your entertainment more 'portable'.

      Bollocks to them, all the same, though, regardless of their hard-bought legal technicalities.

      1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

        Effin' A

        My disk, my player, my time and none of anybody's business.

        I will not ask for permission to enjoy something I have paid for. I certainly don't want some corporation to get a heads-up on the fact that I started watching some film.

        I call that an invasion of my privacy. Your "license" stops at my door. After that, you have no legal right to know anything about me or what I'm doing.

  4. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Trollface

    DVD ripping is still a thing? And controversial???

    Check... 2015.... amazing.

    Oh well.

    1. Fazal Majid

      AACS is the encryption scheme for Blu-Ray, not DVD

      DVD uses CSS, which was broken years ago. Blu-Ray uses AACS, which has been broken, but Blu-Ray ripping software is not widely available and the AACS consortium would like to keep it this way, hence this legal action.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: DVD ripping is still a thing? And controversial???

      It is a thing. There is a new raft of DVDs coming out with corrupt dvd filesystem nowdays and corrupt master blocks. I have a stack of ~ 4-5 (all printed within last year) on my desk which I cannot rip even with the most recent handbrake or dvdrip and library snapshots out of git.

      Disclaimer - I do not share any of the DVDs I have. I just like to be able to watch them across the house on the networked media players and not faff around with 2000+ pieces of plastic crap. Something which Hollywood b*stards continue to insist on as being a special privillege.

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: DVD ripping is still a thing? And controversial???

        If it plays on your computer you can get VLC to dump the video stream. If it doesn't play on your computer ask for your money back.

      2. MacGyver

        Re: DVD ripping is still a thing? And controversial???

        FYI, Hollywood bastards (and any ultra-rich) long ago stopped having those problems.

        Do a search on Kaleidescape media player. They put them in their yachts and private planes, it lets them stream their DVDs and Blurays around their toys at will. Their literature even says something along the lines of "When a drive fails a crewmember can replace it easily." Must be nice.

        1. JetSetJim Silver badge
          Facepalm

          Re: Kaleidoscope need to be stopped too, obviously

          Just had a shufty on their site and looked at the "premier line" product. Here's what it does:

          "You simply insert as many discs as you like, and walk away. Your Kaleidescape disc vault does the rest. Your discs are automatically copied onto your Kaleidescape System and are ready to be enjoyed throughout your home. Once copied onto your Kaleidescape System, a Blu-ray disc must remain in the disc vault to enable playback of the copy on the server."

          Err - surely they need to be shut down, accounts frozen, paper delivery stopped, etc.... They are stealing with this copying!!!

          Their head office is even in the US, so perhaps a US judge could be persuaded to have jurisdiction over them, too.

  5. Mage Silver badge
    Big Brother

    Messed UP!

    It's illegal to distribute (sell or give away) copies that infringe copyright.

    However it OUGHT to be illegal to add mechanisms to prevent personal archival or use or media.

    Also the DRM / Copyprotection is STILL there when copyright expires. DRM is fundamentally a lazy and immoral way of preventing crime, rather than purely pursuing the infringing users.

    It's like banning all knives because some people use knives illegally. The USA Millenium act is plain wrong.

    Any judgement against tools removing DRM/"Copy protection" is wrong. It's Government siding with lazy publishers against HONEST consumers.

    Professional pirates are not inconvenienced at all.

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: Messed UP!

      Good points. I'm guessing that if someone wanted to make a case, anyone with vinyl or tapes is in serious trouble for digitizing and putting them on a CD/DVD or on a iPod. Or just copying vinyl to tape.

      The problem with the law isn't the law. It's the lawmakers who make the laws and the industry lobbyists who push (err... pay) for the laws.

      The industry has finally got enough lobbying efforts (and the tech) to stop us from copying what we purchased. Basically, right now, they tell us we're "renting" it and that if we want another copy for say, the car, to buy one.

      There were pirates and lots of them, back in the 4-track/8-track days duping both vinyl to tape and tape to tape for sales in cut-rate stores. As I recall, at one point, the industry was all upset about video tape players and cd players being able to record broadcast TV. They lumped the average person who wanted a second personal copy or the ability to replay a favorite show into the same category as the professional pirates.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Messed UP!

        "They lumped the average person who wanted a second personal copy or the ability to replay a favorite show into the same category as the professional pirates."

        That, sir, is the problem.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Messed UP!

          "They lumped the average person who wanted a second personal copy or the ability to replay a favorite show into the same category as the professional pirates."

          That, sir, is the problem point.

          There, FTFY 0:)

          1) Form a cartel to set about vilifying organised copyright infringement.

          2) Contrive a "solution" which does NOTHING to inconvenience the evil baby trafficking terrorist paedophile pirate mafia excuse but DOES "accidentally" compel decent law abiding folk to BUY multiple copies of THE SAME SHIT. It's not the data you're interested in and buying it's the medium. You're an obsessive collector of useless bits of plastic ephemera. Honest. Fucktard.

          3) Bribe a few evil baby trafficking terrorist paedophile pirate politicians to support the ruse.

          4) $$$$$ PROFIT $$$!$!$!$$!$!!!!!$$!!!!!!!!one

    2. James Anderson Silver badge

      Re: Messed UP!

      "Copyright expires" -- never happen if Disney gets its way.

    3. Naich

      Re: Messed UP!

      Stopping pirating is not the only reason they use DRM, perhaps not even the primary one. DRM means that their content will only be watchable on devices that have been approved by them. How many DVD/Bluray players let you skip the adverts or copyright notices that have been marked as unskippable? DRM lets them precisely control how every single player works, regardless of manufacturer. You cannot legally produce a player that they have not authorised. They can piss you off with unskippable bullshit until you want to kick in the TV, and what can you do about it? Crack the DRM to make it bearable? That's illegal, you horrible pirate. Sit back and take it like a law abiding citizen.

      1. PNGuinn
        FAIL

        Re: Messed UP!

        Or stop buying their s&(t in the first place.

        It sems to be happening with audio. Vinyl making a comeback, presumably small independent labels. Thing is, it's become much easier for musicians to record their own stuff, and the internet makes digital distribution easy. The studios are designing themselves out of a large bit of the market.

        Now, with "films", the big studios seem to be making more and more complicated computer generated stuff, with all the pork going into the effects. The story line and acting are taking second place. There's only so far you can push that model. Make the trash expensive, difficult to use in the way the customer wants and treat him like a criminal, while expecting him to roll over and THEIR tummies.

        Guess what - the customer grows claws.

        Seriously, how long before a standard desktop has enough grunt and storage to do good enough animation work. Digital cameras are getting cheaper and pretty good.

        I would guess that today a serious artist with a bit of cash and the flair to work within his tecnical limitations could easily produce some really good stuff.

        Cue individual productions and a new industry of small studio facililities for hire. With the internet / unborked dvd / bluray for distribution. Am dram for the digital age.

        1. Hans 1 Silver badge

          Re: Messed UP!

          >Now, with "films", the big studios seem to be making more and more complicated computer generated stuff, with all the pork going into the effects. The story line and acting are taking second place. There's only so far you can push that model. Make the trash expensive, difficult to use in the way the customer wants and treat him like a criminal, while expecting him to roll over and THEIR tummies.

          That will change shortly, a new 4k cinema quality camera is coming out that sports both Open Hardware and Free Software:

          https://www.apertus.org/

          Its price will be very, very competitive, which means more and more smaller outfits will be able to purchase this - Open Source video/audio editing software is getting better ...

      2. Hans 1 Silver badge
        Mushroom

        Re: Messed UP!

        Like "Disney Fast Play", which you can skip ... the feature is called "Fast Play" and will show you a bunch of trailers before the movie - Orwellian homage!

        I no longer rip DVD's/BD's, I buy them and then torrent them. I have a media server and small kids, DVD's/BD's would get scratched if I left them accessible.

        >Fengtao's software allows users to crack the digital rights management (DRM) protection on post-DVD discs, and then save them for use across all devices – something that is against US law.

        The law is targeting the wrong people.

    4. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Messed UP!

      "Also the DRM / Copyprotection is STILL there when copyright expires. "

      True. But will anyone care in 70 years when there are no working BD players left?

      This does, however, raise the question of whether it's illegal to crack DRM to make a copy of something no longer in copyright. Copyright is expiring everyday. Is a BD version of a 70 year old film a "new" copyright on that specific medium? What if it's a special, cleaned up version of an old film? Or a re-edit? Is that now a derivative work with a new 70 year copyright period? Are you only "safe" to make copies from the original film or exact copies of the original? Is the fact it's even on some form of digital media mean that version is in copyright so you can't rip the digital version but can scan in the frames of the film yourself?

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Thanks for the tip - torrent downloaded

    For testing purposes only - honest!!

  7. Steven Roper

    ...marking it out as a company that consumers should be more cautious about.

    On the contrary - it marks it out as a company that has the guts and balls not to cave to the fucking Yanks and their bully-boy politics, and therefore marks it out as a company I should be pleased to do business with.

    1. asdf

      Re: ...marking it out as a company that consumers should be more cautious about.

      >cave to the fucking Yanks %1ers and their bully-boy politics,

      FIFY.

  8. antiquam bombulum
    Pirate

    What a bunch of creeps

    Chrome has been reporting the downloads from Fengtao's site as malware for the last few weeks. Maybe it's just a coincidence or maybe it's Google's way of assisting the court?

    Like others, I use the ripping software for putting my (legal) movies onto my tablet and phone for watching when I'm stuck somewhere. And their Media Player is a great way of using my HTPC to get round the infuriating region encoding on my (also legally owned) discs bought from overseas to get round the morally stinking pricing these creeps behind the law suit have been imposing on punters in Australia (and other countries too, no doubt). I hope Fengtao continue to find workarounds for these court-imposed bits of robber baron behaviour.

    Skull and cutlasses for the lawsuit plaintiffs (yeah, mixed metaphor. Apologies to Bernard Woolley).

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What a bunch of creeps

      Google is not assisting courts, they are assisting other big greedy corporations like them.

    2. dogged
    3. asdf

      Re: What a bunch of creeps

      Media companies have been propping up broken obsolete business models (poorly) since at least the early 20th century. BR appeared largely obsolete and now with Netflix/Amazon surging they are pissing in the wind once again. Keep fighting against those self playing piano rolls though.

  9. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

    Déjà vu

    Blu-ray movies are "sold" and you "buy" them. Those are the terms used on the box and the adverts. When they require permission to play, they're technically a lease or a rental. I would hope this technicality bites AACS-LA the same way it did with DIVX. It wouldn't surprise me if China redirects a bit of their DoS bandwidth towards Blu-ray licensing servers.

  10. Shades

    "But the message is very clear from the United States"

    And the message from the rest of us to the US should be very clear too: Go fuck yourselves!

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Streisand effect

    I had never heard of Fentgao until now

    But I'm not in the USA - so the

    ....................../´¯/)

    ....................,/¯../

    .................../..../

    ............./´¯/'...'/´¯¯`·¸

    ........../'/.../..../......./¨¯\

    ........('(...´...´.... ¯~/'...')

    .........\.................'...../

    ..........''...\.......... _.·´

    ............\..............(

    ..............\.............\...

    to the judge

    1. Antonymous Coward
      Pint

      Re: Streisand effect

      To be fair, the judge didn't contrive the law. May well be just as dismayed as the rest of us by the shameless displays of disingenuous corruption from his political masters. It's the system and specifically the politicians who manage the system that was supposed to manage them who are to blame. The poor judge is just a patsy stuck up there in front of everyone to meter out the politicians' whim.

      Must confess that I’m also thoroughly enjoying the little demonstration of the Streisand effect. Hope http://www.dvdfab.cn/passkey-for-blu-ray.htm are making a tidy $um from it too.

      ;o)

  12. Proud Father

    DOH!

    "Fengtao is accused of breaking US laws by shipping software that circumvents the AACS encryption that's supposed to prevent people from copying HD DVDs and Blu-ray discs"

    Barn door wide open, horse long gone.

  13. Simon Watson
    FAIL

    I hadn't heard of this software until now. Another awesome piece of advertising!!

  14. thexfile

    Sounds like a proxy war.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Preeminent domain

    Google pulls everything it can offline when faced with a US injunction. All the links and accounts referred to in the injunction application have been taken down from Google+ and the web giant's search results. It has also removed any and all links to the named domains and social network accounts – but, notably, not to any new domains that have been activated.

    But only on .com and .us domains, right? Because censoring global search results based on one nation's laws is an abridgement of Google's free speech, right? That's a core tenet of Google's ethical principles, right?

    1. dogged
      Trollface

      Re: Preeminent domain

      > Google's ethical principles

      can't. stop. laughing.

  16. Rabster

    If only

    If these big media and tech companies had put 10% of the investment they've poured into DRM and lobbying for protectionist laws into enhancing the media experience for paying customers I wonder where we would be now.

    1. thesykes

      Re: If only

      Spot on. I have no desire to break the law, and am more than happy to pay, once, for a film. Unfortunately, I would also like to watch that film how I want, when I want, where I want. The US film industry seems hellbent on making sure that I cannot.

      Take Ultraviolet, for example. A good idea badly implemented. Buy a film, and get to watch a digital copy when I want. Except, it doesn't work. I can watch all my Ultraviolet films on the Flixster Android app, but, I can't cast it to Chromecast here in the UK. Apparently you can if you're in the US. Why? I can cast from the Blinkbox app, but, they don't have all the studios signed up, so some of my films aren't available on Ultraviolet on Blinkbox. What's even more annoying is that Blinkbox will happily sell me the non-Ultraviolet digital version of the missing films.

      So, my only options, if I want to watch a digital copy on Chromecast of those films, is to either rip a DVD or download from some dodgy site.

      I don't want to break the law, but, the film studios seem to want me to.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: If only

        Your "problems" are there by design, the content industries want to sell (license) you the same material multiple times for as long as they can.

  17. Simon Watson

    The wrong approach

    People buy kitchen knives and then a small proportion of those are used in crimes. Should we:

    1. Seek ever more ingenious ways to ensure that knives are only used for their intended purpose. For example we could require that a knife fitter deliver them to your home and chain them with a near unbreakable titanium chain to an immovable post driven into your kitchen floor. Make stab vests compulsory clothing. Put metal detectors every 100 yards in the street.

    2. Address the root causes of knife crime and punish those that commit it.

  18. M7S
    FAIL

    I'm still as confused....

    ...as I was when the US credit card companies elected to stop processing payments for Wikileaks a (long) while ago.

    They can do this as the result of a court order as in this case, but dont seem to bother stopping sites such as those hosting illegal content (for example: child pornography, which many authorities seem to use as a reason to "restrict" the internet) from taking payments.

    Something appears to be just a little bit wrong with this picture.

    1. TheVogon

      Re: I'm still as confused....

      "They can do this as the result of a court order as in this case"

      No they can't. EU law takes precedence:

      http://www.informationweek.com/regulations/datacell-wins-wikileaks-donation-case/d/d-id/1109688?

      http://www.thisdayinwikileaks.org/category/datacell

    2. Hans 1 Silver badge
      Black Helicopters

      Re: I'm still as confused....

      >They can do this as the result of a court order as in this case, but dont seem to bother stopping sites such as those hosting illegal content (for example: child pornography, which many authorities seem to use as a reason to "restrict" the internet) from taking payments.

      >Something appears to be just a little bit wrong with this picture.

      I guess it all depends, if it is just some lousy judge they do not care that much ... when it is a secret "court" and NSA, you have absolutely NO CHOICE, do nothing and make the headlines the next day ... "Visa International CTO commits suicide".

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I have a philosophical issue...

    ...with piracy - which is illegal so I'm glad to see these crims lose a lot of their market presence. They belong in prison.

    1. Steven Roper

      Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand

      there's the MAFIAA shill...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand

        "have a philosophical issue...

        ...with piracy - which is illegal"

        Downloading only or streaming only without uploading isn't illegal. Not in the UK at least.

    2. Oninoshiko
      FAIL

      Re: I have a philosophical issue...

      Can you identify exactly what copyrighted work these individuals have distributed against the wishes of the copyright holder?

      I'll wait.

  20. JaitcH
    FAIL

    Ixquick does not record it's users' IP addresses at all, so I ...

    simply don't use any US search engine. DuckDuckGo is a winner, too.

    It's high time all these countries, including the UK, understand that their powers are limited.

    All Judge Vernon Broderick has done is to reinforce the concept of avoiding ANYTHING and EVERYTHING involving the USA.

    1. TheVogon

      Re: Ixquick does not record it's users' IP addresses at all, so I ...

      "DuckDuckGo is a winner, too."

      Which is basically Bing with a wrapper...

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Single Judges have too much authority

    A single Federal judge should not have this kind of authority. At the very least, this decision should have been deferred pending a review of at least three judges from the Federal bench.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Great software

    I have DVD Fab. I remember a couple of years ago they posted something like:

    10:29 Avatar released

    11:18 BluRay broken

    I love this software. Instead of fighting this, the industry should find a way to embrace and monetize it. Jack Valenti stupidly once said, "If you want a backup copy, buy another copy."

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Fengtao's software allows users to crack the digital rights management (DRM) protection on post-DVD discs, and then save them for use across all devices – something that is against US law."

    But it is legal in Denmark.

    If it is to see the content for yourself.

    For example, if you have a laptop, without an optical drive. Then you have to rip a DVD / BR to see its contents.

    It's legal.

    You also have to make a copy so you have a backup if your physical media is stolen or damaged.

    This backup is so legal for you to possess and use even if you sell your physical media.

    But of course this only applies to you. You may not sell or make copies to others.

    That is why I love DVD fab, it makes it easier to have access to content that you have bought over the years.

    A little curiosity

    If you lend your medium to someone.

    Then this person must also make a copy and use it.

    Even after you have got it back.

    But again, it is also only agreed that is entitled to it.

    One must still not sell or give this copy away.

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