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Vendor turns DRM against Microsoft, Apple, Adobe and Real

Ever more creative DMCA litigation

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A California-based DRM software company has sent cease and desist notices to Microsoft, Apple, Adobe and Real Networks for not using its product.

The likes of Microsoft and Apple usually love all the DRM they can get. In this case, however, Media Rights Technologies and its subsidiary BlueBeat.com said in a press release Thursday, the four software giants' failure to implement the MRT's X1 SeCure Recording Control software is a violation of the infamous Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).

They claim that since SeCure has been proven affective against stream ripping by the RIAA and IFPI, it is literally a crime for the companies not to use it in their products.

The DMCA, signed into law in 1998, makes it illegal to sell products or services designed primarily for the purpose of "circumventing a technological measure that effectively controls access to work" protected by the rights of copyrights owners.

Media Rights Technologies asserts that Microsoft, Apple, Real and Adobe have actively avoided using MRT's technology, and therefore are in violation of the law.

"Together these four companies are responsible for 98 percent of the media players in the marketplace; CNN, NPR, Clear Channel, MySpace Yahoo and YouTube all use these infringing devices to distribute copyrighted works," MRT CEO Hank Risan said in a release. "We will hold the responsible parties accountable. The time of suing John Doe is over."

MRT said failure to comply with the cease and desist letter could result in a federal court injunction and/or the imposition of statutory damages of $200-2,500 per product distributed and sold.

Of course, a company can send a cease and desist letter for practically anything, regardless of its legal merit. But it's noteworthy as a creative strategy to get a product licensed. ®

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