Hollywood Sues RealNetworks
Wall Street Journal (10/01/08) P. B7; Wingfield, Nick
The major movie studios are suing RealNetworks for its release of RealDVD, software that enables consumers to copy DVDs onto their computers. The studios’ suit claims that RealDVD, which went on sale at the end of September, illegally bypasses copy-protection measures intended to prevent the duplication of DVDs.
The studios have asked the court for a temporary restraining order preventing RealNetworks from selling the software, along with financial damages. RealNetworks, which filed its own suit, says the software is protected by fair-use laws. RealNetworks CEO Rob Glaser says the company wants to protect consumers’ fair-use rights to make copies of their own purchased DVDs.
The company says the software does not violate laws because it does not break copy-protection systems designed to prevent the copying of DVDs. Instead, the software makes a copy of everything on a DVD, including the copy-protection system, and puts it on a PC, layering on additional software protections to prevent users from trading movies online. The lawsuits will likely hinge on whether RealDVD circumvents the copy-protection software in DVDs, a violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.