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RealNetworks Settles RealDVD Suit With Studios

By : Erik Gruenwedel | Posted: 03 Mar 2010

RealNetworks March 3 said it has agreed to pay Hollywood studios $4.5 million in fees associated with litigation surrounding its ill-fated RealDVD copying software.

As part of the settlement, Seattle-based Real will withdraw all pending appeals of the preliminary injunction that prohibits it from distributing or supporting RealDVD or any other technology that enables the duplication of copyrighted content protected by the Content Scramble System (CSS), ARccOS, or RipGuard.

The company in November 2009 filed a motion with U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth District in San Francisco stating that a U.S. District Court judge had applied an erroneous legal argument when granting an injunction against sales of RealDVD in August 2008.

Judge Marilyn Patel had ruled that the software circumvented technological measures that effectively controlled access to or copying of the studios’ copyrighted content on DVDs.

Studios claimed that RealDVD would have undermined the entire sellthrough (and rental) market by allowing users to rent new release movies and make multiple digital copies.

In addition Real said it would cease operation of the metadata service that provided DVD cover art and movie information for the 2,700 customers who bought the software prior to the preliminary injunction.

The company said it would also refund the $30 purchase of the software to customers.

In a statement Bob Kimball, president and acting CEO for Real, alluded that ongoing efforts in the protracted litigation originated with founder and former CEO Rob Glaser, who resigned in January after 16 years.

“This is another step toward fulfilling our commitment to simplify our company and focus on our core businesses,” Kimball said. “Until this dispute, Real had always enjoyed a productive working relationship with Hollywood.  With this litigation resolved, I hope that in the future we can find mutually beneficial ways to use Real technology to bring Hollywood’s great work to consumers.”

Related Stories :

Real Networks Follows Through with DVD Copying Appeal
Judge Tosses RealDVD Antitrust Challenge
RealNetworks Founder Steps Down as CEO


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