Judge Rules Against RealDVD

RealNetworks was faced with legal action for the software the same day it was launched, on September 30 last year. While the company said that it was just trying to come up with a legal way for users to back up their movies to their hard drives, Judge Marilyn Hall Patel yesterday declared the program violates the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and the terms of the DVD CSS license because RealNetworks actively worked to circumvent the CSS license, which is there to prevent casual users from the unauthorized copying of copyrighted materials recorded on DVD-Video/Audio Discs.

Patel issued a preliminary injunction preventing RealNetworks from selling the RealDVD software. The preliminary injunction replaces a temporary injunction that has been in place ever since major studios (including Paramount, Sony, Universal Studios and Walt Disney) filed suit last September.

Patel last year extended the temporary injunction because she was unsure as to whether the technology was a violation or not. "I am extending the temporary restraining order because I’m not satisfied in the fact that this technology is not in violation," Patel said following the three-hour hearing. "There are serious questions about copyright violations. There are questions about violations of the (Digital Millennium Copyright Act), and violations of these companies’ agreement."

The ruling is unfortunate as it seems RealNetworks is genuine in its efforts to offer paying customers a way to watch movies they have paid for without the need for the DVD. That said, however genuine the company's efforts seem, RealNetworks did violate federal law. Who do you think is right in this instance? Let us know in the comments below.

Check out the full story here.

  • deredita
    I bet you that Judge Marilyn Hall Patel doesn't even know how to use a computer, but used her legal authority anyways to decide on it.
  • doc70
    looks to me like a lot of judges are in the same boat with the RIAA and Co. Lately we have not witnessed ONE single case where the ruling would be on the sensitive side; only extreme penalties and lopsidedness in sentencing. I am losing faith that the justice will ever see the truth as being in the middle, as it really is.
  • CChick
    CSS is a joke. it can be pwned with just a few lines of C++ rofl.

    Causal users? Hmm, you mean "dumb fuxking" users.

    Sorry but I crac ... err I mean every single Disc that I own I "removed" the Stupid ass CSS on it and burn it on another DVD so yeah I can watch it anywhere I want. Movie studios cant tell me what I can/can't watch on.
  • CChick
    forgot to add, DMCA is full of bullshit and its nothing but a bitch ass law that gave movie studios tons of stupid rights anyway.
  • duckmanx88
    a better way to stop this instead of having a suit is including a digital copy with the dvd, which Disney does anyway in its special editions and some blu-ray copies. just make it a standard practice. a friend of mine works for Disney and they were practically throwing away free itunes redeemable codes for "Race To Witch Mountain".

  • jerther
    Copyright laws, patents and all this legal stuff really suck.
  • megamanx00
    Yet another reason why the DMCA has to go and we really need patent and copyright reform here in the US.
  • dextermat
    Lets play a game how much money did the
    Bias judge make over this case.
    1) Enough to pay his prostitute
    2) Enough to retire right away
    3) Enough to put back the world economy in business....

    I guess the answer is all of the above :o
  • fatedtodie
    I wonder how many here have made a movie. Does the millions upon millions upon millions of dollars that went into making and marketing the movie not deserve something for its work? In this me me me society I think america has proven it is the most selfish and horrible country.

    The point of the DMCA is to protect the rights of the people that make a digital product. If you work around those protections, it is EXPLICITLY STATED in the DMCA that is illegal. It is RealMedia that is whining they tried to break the law and got a nice F-you from the people they tried to swindle. They may say they are trying to help the consumer but they just wanted a piece of the pirate pie.

    All of you that think the RIAA is in the wrong here you maybe step up and write your congressmen/women and say the law is unjust. If you are too lazy to do that, shut up and follow the law. There are a bunch of whining pirates on this site and I for one think you need to either try to change it (legally) or back down.
  • rooket
    Well that's stupid since you can do a google search and quickly find numerous DVD backup and shrinking softwares for free. Why not let someone make their own product and sell it if they wish. The DeCSS is mearely a few lines of code anyway.