DVD & BLU-RAY
MPAA Sues RealDVD
Author: Ed Perkis
published: 2008-10-01 12:25:28
A wrench has been thrown into the works for consumers who were hoping to steal….errrr….digitally manage their DVD collections using RealNetworks DVD copying software. The Motion Picture Association of America filed a lawsuit on September 30th to seek a temporary retraining order and prevent RealNetworks from selling its RealDVD software, which went on sale that same day. RealNetworks, in turn, filed suit themselves, hoping to get a judge to rule that their DVD copying software is a-ok for both man and beast.
As we noted back in early September, RealNetworks is marketing this software as a way for people to manage their legally purchased DVDs more easily. As company executive Jeff Chasen noted in a HR article, the software is “one of the first mainstream PC applications that do this (rip DVDs) in a legal framework. It's taking the DVD you purchased and giving it additional flexibility." The MPAA, not without some good reason, thinks it will allow people to flexibly steal movies that they didn’t buy. They say the software circumvents the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and that the program hacks their content protection software. Their lawsuit states, “Real admits that what RealDVD is doing 'has been done illegally for a while' with other software products, a long line of which have been shut down by the federal courts. Real, however, claims that RealDVD differs from its predecessors and that when RealDVD circumvents the DVD protection measures, it is 'legal' and '100% legit.' There is nothing legal or legitimate about it." RealNetworks says that’s bull puckey, but not in those exact words.
As of today, RealNetworks is still selling the program while this thing winds through the courts. MPAA General Counsel Greg Goeckner claims “RealDVD should be called Steal DVD,” which is pretty funny. It remains to be seen who will be laughing at the end of the day.
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