RealNetworks launches DVD ripper

September 9, 2008 | 12:47

Tags: #dvd #real #realdvd #ripping

Companies: #realnetworks #riaa

A new DVD ripping application has been released from an unexpected quarter – RealNetworks.

According to a report on, the company – best known for its video streaming software – revealed a DVD ripping package at the DEMOfall Conference in San Deigo yesterday. The interesting part? The software is, the company claims, complete legal.

As you would imagine, a 'legal' DVD ripping package comes with a whole host of hidden extras to ensure its legitimacy – in this case, it's in the form of a DRM wrapper. Unlike free packages, the videos created by the software – called RealDVD – will only run in a special player application bundled with the ripper. So, no streaming to your Xbox or PS3 in the living room then.

To prevent sharing-style naughtiness, the digital copies are further restricted to play on a maximum of five unique computers – all of which must have a copy of the RealDVD package installed, at a cost of $30 (£15) each.

While the digital rights management included with the package is likely to placate the film industry, the company might still land in legal hot water: the DVD Copy Control Association is currently appealing a case against a video server company which claimed that the licence included with retail DVDs don't include a restriction that the disc itself is physically present during playback – opening the doors to technologies such as RealDVD. Should the courts accept the appeal and reverse the decision, it's quite likely that RealNetworks could find itself on the other side of the law – despite its best efforts to maintain some level of usefulness alongside the DRM restrictions.

Would you purchase a DVD ripping toolkit that was fully legitimate but came with restrictions, or would you prefer to keep on using free solutions and rely on the defence of 'fair use'? Share your thoughts over in the forums.
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