Kaleidescape, Warner Bros. agree to digital distribution deal

After eight years of legal battle with the entertainment industry, Kaleidescape has found a friend in Hollywood.

Starting Tuesday, the manufacturer of high-end media servers will sell movies and television shows from Warner Bros., a first-of-its-kind deal for the company. Previously, the Kaleidescape system has only let users watch movies that they copy off a DVD or Blu-ray disc.

That function landed the Sunnyvale, Calif., company in trouble when the DVD Copy Control Assn., a consortium of studios and electronics companies that manages the anti-piracy technology on movie discs, sued Kaleidescape in 2004. Litigation questioning the legality of a server that enables people to break copy control on a DVD is still pending on appeal.

During that time, sales of DVDs have plummeted and studios have become more eager to sell their films electronically to prop up home entertainment profits.

"Now the stars and planets are aligned," said Cheena Srinivasan, Kaleidescape’s co-founder and executive vice president.

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-- Ben Fritz, Los Angeles Times

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