Film studios, RealNetworks battle over DVD copying

Tue Sep 30, 2008 6:34pm EDT
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By Alex Dobuzinskis

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Technology company RealNetworks and major film studios on Tuesday squared off in a legal battle over a new product allowing consumers to make computer copies of DVDs that the studios claim is illegal.

RealDVD, a software product from RealNetworks subsidiary RealNetworks Home Entertainment Inc, allows users to create a copy of a DVD for their computer's internal or portable hard drive.

RealNetworks said RealDVD gives consumers the ability to do with movie or TV show DVDs what they already do with music CDs, and RealDVD eliminates the hassle of searching for a missing DVD or dealing with a scratched and unplayable disc.

The company also said its product allows customers to view DVDs while traveling with a computer.

But the Motion Picture Association of America, which represents Hollywood's major film and TV studios, disagreed and its member companies sued RealNetworks seeking a temporary restraining order to stop it from selling RealDVD software.

"RealNetworks' RealDVD should be called StealDVD," Greg Goeckner, executive vice president and general counsel for the MPAA, said in a statement.

"RealNetworks knows its product violates the law and undermines the hard-won trust that has been growing between America's movie makers and the technology community," he said.

But the company argues RealDVD has built-in encryption to prevent saved copies of DVDs from being shared or stolen.   Continued...

<p>A screen grab of REUTERS/</p>