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All DVD copying could be banned

It's already illegal in UK law to rip a copy-protected DVD to your iPod or PSP. A new copyright licence amendent would go even further

Copying a DVD to watch on your iPod , iPhone , PSP or laptop could be banned under a new amendment to DVD's copy protection licence. The amendment - which is being proposed by the DVD Copy Control Association (DVD CCA) - could potentially impact UK and European as well as US use.

Details of the amendment have been leaked in an open letter to the US Senate, the EU and consumer electronics bosses like Microsoft 's Steve Ballmer. The letter has been written by Kaleidescape CEO Michael Malcolm. Kaleidescape makes high-end video servers that legally rips copies of DVDs for use in multi-room video systems.

The proposed amendment states:

"DVD Products, alone or in combination with other DVD Products, shall not be designed to descramble scrambled CSS Data when the DVD Disc containing such CSS Data and associated CSS Keys is not physically present in the DVD Player or DVD Drive (as applicable), and a DVD Product shall not be designed to make or direct the making of a persistent copy of CSS Data that has been descrambled from such DVD Disc by such DVD Product."

In other words, if you want to watch a DVD movie you will have to have the physical disc for that movie in your DVD player or PC laptop drive in order to watch it. It would also make it illegal for developers to make DVD ripping software by banning DVD disc images and virtual drives.

The amendment - which could come into force within as little as 18 months - also requires that DVD player and drive manufacturers include the preventative measures in their drives.

Kaleidescape boss Michael Malcolm said the amendment would destroy his business. However his company has been successful in defending itself from restrictive practices such as this latest amendment in the past. Sources suggest that the company could very well be successful again.