Real CEO Upbeat on ‘Facet’ DVD Storage Device12 May, 2009 By: Erik Gruenwedel
Despite the future of its $30 RealDVD copying software in the hands of a federal judge, RealNetworks founder and CEO Rob Glaser remained optimistic the media company could later this year begin manufacturing an offshoot of the technology.
Codenamed Facet, the reported $300 hardware device powered by Linux software would allow users to store, archive and retrieve movie DVDs similar to way digital video recording pioneer TiVo operates with TV programming.
The unit, which Glaser said would be a successor to the current DVD player, is patterned after the Kaleidescape media system studios unsuccessfully attempted to shutter in 2007 due to concerns about its DVD playback (without the disc) and limited managed copy provision allowing for the making of a digital copy.
Glaser, in testimony in the ongoing RealDVD preliminary injunction hearing in U.S. District Court in San Francisco, said he conceived the idea for Facet years ago after purchasing Kaleidescape for his bedridden pregnant wife.
“Our legal team is working incredibly hard to put on the strongest possible case we can,” Glaser said May 7 in an analyst call.
Judge Marilyn Hall-Patel is expected to rule by May 21.
Richard Doherty, technology analyst with The Envisioneering Group, said consumer rights to repurpose legally acquired entertainment should supercede the rights of studios to eternally control their content.
“Do [movies] become more secure than nuclear weapons?” Doherty asked. “To stop a new tool from being delivered because it might be misused against someone is a convolution of modern justice.”
Indeed, Real spokesperson Bill Hankes told CNET that if Patel kept the injunction in place, the company would not bring Facet to market in its current form.