RealNetworks appeals to public in RealDVD fight

In the fight against the MPAA, RealNetworks tells public Hollywood will control consumers' rights to make legal copies and force them to purchase same DVDs twice.

Greg Sandoval Former Staff writer
Greg Sandoval covers media and digital entertainment for CNET News. Based in New York, Sandoval is a former reporter for The Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times. E-mail Greg, or follow him on Twitter at @sandoCNET.
Greg Sandoval
2 min read

RealNetworks and the film industry continues to blast each other in public over RealDVD, the controversial DVD-copying software.

The maker of digital media tools on Monday reminded customers who downloaded a free 30-day trial of RealDVD that the period is ending and the film industry is preventing them from buying the product. The company is offering a new deal to these customers.

"We have been forced by legal action to at least temporarily halt the sale of RealDVD by Hollywood's largest movie studios," RealNetworks said in a post on it's site. "You shouldn't be caught in the middle, and we apologize that you are. As a thank you for your patience we will upgrade your trial to a fully licensed copy, free of charge, if we are legally allowed to resume distribution of RealDVD."

The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) filed a copyright lawsuit in September against RealNetworks and convinced a judge to order the company to halt sales of RealDVD. The software enables users to copy DVDs and then store the contents on hard drives. The MPAA alleges that it is a pirate tool and violates an agreement RealNetworks made with the film industry.

RealNetworks must wait at least another two weeks before the U.S. District Judge Marilyn Patel will once again hear arguments in the case. RealNetworks said in it's post that it anticipates the case won't be decided until early next year. In the meantime, RealNetworks continues to blast the MPAA.

"Be clear about what's at stake: "Your "fair use" rights to make a copy of DVDs that you own," the company wrote. "If Hollywood gets its way, they will control your rights and sell them back to you by requiring you to purchase the same DVD twice if you want a fair-use personal copy."