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RealNetworks appeals injunction on RealDVD sales

Real asks appeals court to overturn federal judge's decision to halt sales of DVD-copying software.

RealNetworks has filed an appeal of a federal judge's decision to halt the sales of its DVD-copying software, RealDVD.

RealNetworks CEO Rob Glaser is challenging the decision by a federal judge to halt sales of RealDVD. Greg Sandoval/CNET

Real said in documents filed Monday night that San Francisco-based U.S. District Judge Marilyn Patel erred when she placed a preliminary injunction on the sales of RealDVD in August.

In a lawsuit filed last fall, the Motion Picture Association of America accused Real of violating the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) and breach of contract when Real began selling RealDVD.

Not surprisingly, Real claimed in the appeal that Patel applied an incorrect legal standard in granting a request by the major studios to halt sales of the software and argued that Patel was wrong to presume RealDVD would cause the film industry irreparable harm. Patel failed to consider the public interest or balance the equities, Real said in the documents.

For those reasons and others, Real asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth District to remove the injunction.

"The grant of a preliminary injunction will be reversed," Real wrote in the appeal, "where the district court 'abused its discretion or based its decisions on an erroneous legal standard or on clearly erroneous legal standard."

As the case has played out in court the past year, its been closely watched by copyright owners as well as those representing technology companies and Internet users, such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation. EFF claims that the major movie studios are using the lawsuit against Real to thwart innovation.

The studios argue they are only protecting their films from those who would profit from the creation of pirate tools, which is what they claim RealDVD is. In addition to the DVD-copying software, Real is also planning to roll out Facet, the codename for a prototype DVD player that copies DVDs and stores the movies on a hard drive.

A MPAA spokeswoman did not immediately respond to an interview request.