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Real Sues Movie Studios, Asks Court to OK DVD Copy Software
/ September 30, 2008 1:33 pm

Seattle - RealNetworks (NASD: RNWK) on Tuesday filed a pre-emptive lawsuit against the Hollywood movie studios and the DVD Copy Control Association (DVD CCA) — which licenses the anti-copying technology found on DVDs — asking a federal judge to rule that its recently-released software that can make copies of DVDs does not violate the DVD CCA’s license agreement. Seattle-based Real said it filed the lawsuit "in response to threats made by the major movie studios"; its lawsuit names Disney (NYSE: DIS), Paramount, Sony Pictures (NYSE: SNE), Fox (NYSE: NWS), NBC Universal (NYSE: GE), Warner Bros. (NYSE: TWX) and Viacom (NYSE: VIA) as defendants.

Real argues that its $49 RealDVD application does not break a DVD’s CSS encryption in the process of copying a DVD, and further, that it "also adds another layer of digital rights management encryption that effectively locks the DVD copy to the owner’s computer to ensure that the content can not be improperly copied or shared."

The company also pointed to a lawsuit the DVD CCA filed against Kaleidescape, a company offering a similar technology — in which the court ruled against the DVD CCA and studios.

"We are disappointed that the movie industry is following in the footsteps of the music industry and trying to shut down advances in technology rather than embracing changes that provide consumers with more value and flexibility for their purchases," RealNetworks said in a statement.

The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) struck back with its own lawsuit on Tuesday, asking a federal court in Los Angeles for a temporary restraining order to halt the distribution of RealDVD.

The MPAA argues that RealDVD illegally bypasses the CSS copyright protection system on DVDs, in violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

"RealNetworks’ RealDVD should be called StealDVD," remarked MPAA EVP and general counsel Greg Goeckner.


Related Links: (Ars Technica) (PDF of MPAA statement)


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