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California Judge Rules in Favor of Kaleidescape and Consumers

A California Superior Court judge ruled March 29th that a startup’s media server does not violate the security technology used to protect DVD disks because the standard licensing contract and specifications for the technology are so poorly worded.

Rather than spend a lot of time analyzing the specifics of this case between Kaleidescape and the DVD Copy Control Association (DVD CCA), let’s just look at this from a contract law/litigation perspective.

Judge Leslie C. Nichols stated that the DVD CCA provided a license for its Content Scramble System (CSS) to Kaleidescape without including tech specs in the license agreement. Judge Nichols also stated “This [CSS spec] is a product of a committee of lawyers.”

What can we learn from this? Sadly, this is very basic contract law.

Importantly, a contract is whatever the court says it is. Further, any ambiguities in a contract are held against the writer/creator/author of the contract.

Using the above case as an example, the judge held the DVD CCA responsible for its poorly worded licensing agreement (contract) and ruled in favor of Kaleidescape.

Lastly, contract lawyers usually fall into two categories.

…..contract lawyers usually fall into two categories. And never make the mistake of hiring the first type when you need the second type.

First are transactional lawyers who spent their time writing and reviewing contracts. At SO&L we have NO transactional lawyers.

Second are trial lawyers who file lawsuits, litigate and are prepared to take contract disputes to trial. This is our area of expertise at Sylvester, Oppenheim & Linde.

When you visit our website, you will find more information about how and when to use a trial lawyer to your advantage in a business dispute.

If you would prefer, feel free to call us at 818-461-8500 of fill in the contact form on this page. There is never a charge for an initial consultation.