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321 Studios to make DVD copying software no more

Done in by the courts

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321 Studios has decided to stop fighting the good fight, announcing this week that the company is no more.

"321 Studios regrets to inform you that it has ceased business operations including . . . the sale, support and promotion of our products," the company said on its website. "Despite 321 Studios’ best efforts to remain in business, injunctions entered against 321 Studios by three US Federal courts earlier this year has resulted in 321 Studios no longer being able to continue operating the business."

The closure hardly comes a shock. Just last month, the DVD duplication software maker warned it might have to file for bankruptcy, admitting such a move would likely be the end of the firm. 321 has been in court almost since its inception, fighting the likes of the MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America) and gaming software makers such as Electronic Arts and Atari. These companies accused 321 Studios of violating the DMCA by helping consumers make copies of their proprietary software.

In July, 321 sent 300 workers packing, leaving it with a skeleton staff of 24. The company is pulling back all software support operations. It will, however, still offer some products "not enjoined from sale" via this website.

321 gave the DVD and game copying racket its best shot, but once the courts banned its products, you could see grim reaper approaching at speed. From day one, Robert Moore, CEO of 321, tried to defend consumers' right to make copies of their own products, which seems a plausible enough defense. ®

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