ReQuest CEO concerned about legality of DVD copying? "Nope, should I be?"

The studios and the organizations that represent them don’t care much for products that rip DVDs.

That’s why the courts killed Real Networks’ RealDVD last year and continue to dog Kaleidescape, the movie server of choice for very wealthy homeowners.

That’s also one reason why a slew of other manufacturers have taken their niche media server products off the market.

But none of that deters ReQuest, a pioneer of high-performance music servers for the residential market and now a top player in the DVD server business. The company continues to expand its line of multiroom servers and cleints, most recently with the new $1,195 MediaPlayer — better than half the price of the ReQuest’s current client device.

The MediaPlayer enables users in remote rooms to access movies, music, photos and all sorts of Internet fare from a ReQuest server ($5,000 and up) stored elsewhere in the home. The system supports Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, Internet radio, news and other popular Web content, with Pandora and Amazon UnBox in the offing.

Given the movie industry’s declaration of war against DVD ripping, isn’t ReQuest CEO Peter Cholnoky concerned about potential legal action?

“Nope,” he tells CE Pro. “Should I be?”

Like Kaleidescape, ReQuest has a license from the DVD CCA – a plaintiff in both the Kaleidescape and Real cases – to play DVDs.

“We pay a license fee for every single disc player,” Cholnoky says. “We’re trying very hard to work with everyone.”

It irks him that most DVD collectors rip discs to a PC or other server, illegally circumventing copy protections, using $20 software purchased over the Internet. Companies like ReQuest and Kaleidescape, on the other hand, offer extra measures of security to ensure that DVD copies never leave their respective ecosystems.

Cholnoky notes that if the Kaleidescape case ultimately illegalizes the trafficking of DVD-archiving products, “in two seconds we can convert our box to do what every body else does [download third-party software]. Is that what they really want? We believe what we’re doing is within the letter of the law.”