Judge Halts Sales of RealDVD Copying Software6 Oct, 2008 By: Erik Gruenwedel
A federal judge late last week issued a temporary injunction against RealNetworks prohibiting the Seattle-based digital media company from marketing its DVD copying software, RealDVD.
Judge Marilyn Hall-Patel in U.S. District Court in San Francisco issued the 10-day order, which went into effect last weekend, immediately halting online sales of the $29.99 software that allows users to create a digital file of movie DVD for their PC.
RealNetworks, on its site, said recent legal action taken by the Hollywood movie studios against it had made RealDVD “temporarily unavailable.”
"Rest assured, we will continue to work diligently to provide you with software that allows you to make a legal copy of your DVDs for your own use,” the site said.
Patel ordered the studios and RealNetworks to her courtroom Oct. 7 to discuss the matter, according to plaintiff Motion Picture Association of America spokesperson Elizabeth Kaltman, who declined further comment.
RealNetworks Sept. 30 filed a preemptive federal lawsuit in San Francisco against the major studios and DVD Copy Control Association seeking court approval for software. The studios, in turn, filed a countersuit in Los Angeles seeking a temporary injunction.
The studios say that despite a CCA license, RealDVD’s Content Scrambling System (CSS) DRM cannot differentiate a store-bought movie DVD from a rental DVD, thereby opening the door to a practice called “rent, rip and return.”
Real said its software has additional encryption safeguards to prevent against the copying of rental DVDs.
"As a company with a nearly 15-year track record of innovation that's both great for consumers and fully respectful of intellectual property, we're disappointed that the movie studios thought they had to file lawsuits," CEO Rob Glaser wrote on a company blog prior to a court-ordered gag rule.
The media company did win a minor victory as the case was moved from Los Angeles to San Francisco.