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Sima Slapped With Injunction

Oakwood, Penn. — Macrovision won a preliminary injunction from a U.S. District Court judge last month barring Sima Products, based here, from distributing seven video-enhancement products sold under the “Copy This!” and “GoDVD” names.

In its suit, Macrovision alleges that Sima’s products infringed its copy-protection patents and violated the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), which prevents circumvention of copy protection systems.

Judge Richard Owen ruled that Macrovision’s claims against Sima warrant injunction.

Responding to the action, Ilana Diamond, Sima Products CEO, said, “Sima Products fully supports the right of consumers to exercise their fair use rights, as defined in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. We do not believe that Sima’s GoDVD! and Color Corrector products violate the DMCA. We believe that this decision unfairly prevents consumers from enjoying full use of their legally obtained media, and is not in line with the doctrine of fair use as affirmed by the Supreme Court last year.”

The action also raised the ire of Consumer Electronics Association president/CEO Gary Shapiro, who issued a statement this week saying: “Consumers should be outraged” by the decision.

“The devices Sima Products manufactures simply allow consumers to use digital techniques to make up for viewing artifacts in analog material — some from age or distortion, and some caused as a result of the use of distortive copy-protection techniques,” Shapiro said. “Such products have been necessary and available, in the analog and digital domains, for years. The legislative history of the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act is clear that passive analog measures that distort video signals are not technical protection measures.”

“Indeed, the ‘No Mandate’ clause of the DMCA (Section 1201(c)(3)) makes this clear,” he continued. “To consider them as such, and for courts to extend the reach of a problematical law is another extreme example of the growing imbalance between consumer rights and intellectual property rights.

“The DMCA should not trump consumer rights. When a court sends a message to consumers that they can no longer transfer their home movie archives between software platforms, and cannot correct artifacts caused by passive copy protection techniques, it’s clear the scales are tipping too far in the content industry’s favor. It’s time to stop government intrusion into private, non-commercial home entertainment practices.”