After a warning from copyright-protection specialist Macrovision, U.K. retail chain Maplin Electronics has agreed to destroy its entire stock of video enhancers, which are used to delete copyright-pro

After a warning from copyright-protection specialist Macrovision, U.K. retail chain Maplin Electronics has agreed to destroy its entire stock of video enhancers, which are used to delete copyright-protection technology on DVDs and VHS cassettes.

The European division of Macrovision recently threatened to sue Maplin Electronics and its 81 outlets for being in breach of the European Union's Copyright Directive, which came into force in the U.K. Oct. 31.

The EU legislation prohibits the sale and use of devices designed to circumvent technologies that protect content recorded on DVD and video-cassettes.

"Video enhancers are cable networks or boxes that purport to clean up signals during video transmissions. But ... in fact, their primary use is to remove copyright protection," explains Simon Mehlman, a U.K.-based executive at Macrovision EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa).

Macrovision's out-of-court settlement with Maplin Electronics comes after a similar victory in Germany. German retailer Media Markt agreed in October to comply with the Copyright Directive by not disputing Macrovision's temporary injunction banning it from selling copy-protection circumvention devices.