Court orders RealDVD halt

October 6, 2008 | 09:04

Tags: #court #css #drm #dvd #hollywood #mpaa #realdvd #sue

Companies: #realnetworks #riaa

We all predicted that Hollywood wasn't going to take RealNetworks' DVD ripping package lying down, and the news is that sales of the software have been put on temporary hiatus pending a court decision on Tuesday.

According to NewTeeVee, a series of Hollywood studies have filed suit against the company claiming that the software violates copyrights they own – despite, it would appear, the fact that the software not only retains the digital restriction management placed upon a DVD but adds a whole new layer of restrictions of its own when used to rip a commercial disc.

The court hearing the case has ordered that RealNetworks suspend distribution of the RealDVD package until this Tuesday, to allow the presiding judge to review all the paperwork before making a decision. While this isn't much of a surprise, it certainly casts the company's latest software venture in a bad light – and prevents people who have got their hands on codes for free trials from downloading the software until the judge gives the go-ahead.

With many freely available packages on the 'net that offer all the advantages of RealDVD with none of the DRM – and no pretensions as their legality – it's hard to see RealNetworks gaining much support from the community. That said, it's a hard one for the studios to argue too: despite the software ostensibly being designed to remove copy protection systems present on commercial DVDs, the software is expressly designed not to make it easy to copy major movies but instead merely to make the process of watching films you have legally purchased easier and more convenient.

Do you hope that the studios fail in their attempts to prevent the sale of RealDVD, or is it RealNetworks' own fault for attempting to commercialise something that those in the know have been enjoying the use of for quite some time? Share your thoughts over in the fourms.
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