John Borland’s report on another MPAA attack on DVD decoding:
According to the MPAA, Sigma Designs in Milpitas, Calif., and Taiwan-based MediaTek each have sold DVD-player chips to companies that offer features in their products that aren’t allowed under the general DVD technology license. That act violated the license the chipmakers had to sign to build the DVD chips in the first place, the trade association said. (emphasis added)
That’s right, the MPAA, through its partner in cartelization, the DVDCCA, tightly controls the features of every DVD player it allows to be marketed. Through a web of contracts, copyright, and DMCA, the MPAA has been able to prevent evolution in the design of DVD players since their introduction. DVD-player manufacturers are in a Catch-22: Don’t sign the DVDCCA’s restrictive contract, and you’re sued under DMCA; sign, and you’re contractually bound not to listen to customers’ feature requests. Don’t let anyone tell you these cartels aren’t clever (PDF).