Storage Technology Corp. v Custom Hardware Engineering

Plaintiff-Appellee's Petition For Rehearing Or Rehearing En Banc


Plaintiff is a vendor of high-density storage solutions who wants to dominate the aftermarket for maintenance and service of its products. Years ago, computer vendors started trying to use copyright law to block competition - if independent service providers need to turn on the computers, they must be making unauthorized copies! Ultimately, Congress had to amend the Copyright Act to make it clear that independent service providers could turn on your computer to service it without fear of copyright retribution.

Now they are trying to use the DMCA. By putting a rudimetary "protection measure" on their maintenance code, plaintiff hoped to lure independent service vendor Custom Hardware into a DMCA trap - claiming that even if the Copyright Act lets you turn on the computer, we've got you for "circumvention"!

The Federal Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Custom Hardware was not violating the DMCA because merely activating the maintenance code had no nexus with any potential copyright infringement. Custom Hardware was just using code that StorageTek's customers already had on their systems.

StorageTek petitioned the full Federal Circuit, asking that the earlier ruling be overturned and that the Federal Circuit's decision in Chamberlain v. Skylink (the DMCA v. universal garage door opener case) be thrown out. Joining them, was the entire copyright cabal (RIAA, MPAA, AAP, NMPA, SIIA, ESA).

This is plaintiff's petition for rehearing or rehearing en banc, seeking to have the Court of Appeals ruling overturned by the full court.

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Reference Info:Appellate Brief | Federal, Federal Circuit | United States

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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