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Last Updated: Friday, 16 May, 2003, 08:25 GMT 09:25 UK
Studios take on DVD copying firms
Studios fear they could lose billions of dollars from DVD copying
Hollywood's major film studios have stepped up their campaign against companies making DVD copying software.

Lawyers for Paramount and 20th Century Fox have filed for an injunction in the US District Court in New York to prevent five firms from selling the software.

In a separate case in San Francisco, Sony, Warners, Universal, Disney, MGM and others have mounted a similar lawsuit arguing that another US company's software violates copyright law.

The cases centre on the issue of whether selling DVD copying software is illegal under the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

It is a lawsuit about a company that traffics in an illegal product
Russell Frackman, lawyer
The companies selling the software insist it is legal under "fair use" provisions of US copyright law.

But the studios argue that billions of dollars in lost future revenues could be at stake.

They are worried that perfect digital copies of movies made on DVD will end up on the internet for free downloading.

Russell Frackman, a lawyer representing the studios, said: "This is not a lawsuit against consumers or about copyright infringement.

"It is a lawsuit about a company that traffics in an illegal product."

The New York lawsuit names Internet Enterprises Inc, RDestiny LLC, HowtocopyDVDs.com, DVDBackupbuddy.com and DVDSqueeze.com as defendants.

The San Francisco case involves St Louis-based 321 Studios.

The company says people have the right to copy DVDs for personal use in case their DVDs are lost or damaged.

It says teachers use its software to copy parts of a DVD for presentations to classes or seminars.

The cases are continuing.

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