DVDFab faces unprecedented legal seizure, including domain name, funds and even social media accounts, as other ripping software publishers react
The seizure of domain names, social media accounts and funds belonging to ripping software company DVDFab has sent a chilling effect through the media software industry, with two other companies deciding to discontinue their DVD and Blu-ray ripping products to immediate effect.
A New York federal court earlier in the week granted the seizure of DVDFab's domain names, including DVDFab.com, its social media accounts and funds currently residing with the likes of PayPal, Visa and MasterCard. The decision comes after the judge ruled in favor of AACS LA, a licensing firm that licenses copy protection technology for use in Blu-ray. AACS is backed by a consortium of companies, including Disney, Intel, Microsoft, Panasonic, Warner Bros., IBM, Toshiba and Sony.
AACS sued DVDFab under the DMCA's anti-circumvention clause, and sought a preliminary injunction, which the judge granted after DVDFab failed to provide a response. As part of the order, DVDFab's social media accounts were also to be blocked, with its Facebook page already down - its Twitter and YouTubeaccounts are still active at the time of writing.
PayPal, Amazon Payments, Visa and MasterCard payment accounts for DVDFab have also been ordered to be frozen by the court.
For now, the company behind DVDFab, Fengtao Software Inc, has not offered a legal response to the matter, and it increasingly appears that the Chinese company will not seek to fight the matter in a U.S. court. The company has however set up a protest site, urging users of the software to offer their vocal support for DVDFab via Twitter. The company has also relocated their main website to a Chinese .cn domain.
This latest legal action takes places less than a month after the U.S. Trade Representatives office published their annual "notorious piracy markets" list, which included several publishers of ripping software. Ironically, DVDFab was not listed as one of the "notorious" offenders. It was one of their local competitors, Aiseesoft, that had the honor of representing the Chinese ripping software industry, and it's the same company that has reacted first to the DVDFab decision.
Aiseesoft has announced that the company will discontinue all of their products that rip Blu-ray and/or DVDs, and all related software has already been removed from their official website.
While not named by the USTR, the Canadian makers of the 1CLICK BLURAY COPY software has also decided to remove its software from circulation, citing the DVDFab action.
"It was once thought that companies that were situated outside the U.S. could operate with impunity; this no longer appears to be the case. We do not wish to take any risks that could jeopardize our ability to continue to provide support and updates to our loyal 1CLICK users," the company stated.