RealNetworks Gives Up On RealDVD Following Lawsuit

RealNetworks, the company behind the popular Real media player, has decided to end the 17-month long legal battle with some prominent Hollywood studios, which had launched a lawsuit against the company over its RealDVD application.

According to some sources within the company, RealNetworks has agreed to give in to demands of the 6 major Hollywood movie studios, along with Viacom and the DVD Copy control association, who had objected to the purpose of RealDVD.

In addition, the company has agreed to pay $4.5 million in order to reimburse the legal fees incurred by its opponents and has also agreed to permanently discontinue its RealDVD suite and reimburse its 2700 users in the process.

RealDVD software, which was launched in 2008, was a paid DVD ripping software which allowed users to copy their favorite DVDs and store them in their hard drives.

The lawsuit, which was mounted only after a few days of the launch of the product, claimed that the software allows 'anyone to save a movie they do not legally own, or renting movies, ripping them and then returning them.'

Strangely, according to the makers of the software, RealDVD was made keeping in mind the concerns over copyright protection and piracy.

Our Comments

The software was designed to preserve the copyright protection software that came embedded in the DVD disc and automatically lock the files in the hard drive in which users saved the ripped DVD. This feature made it impossible to convert the file into .avi, .MPEG or any other file format.

Related Links

Real Networks rolls over to Hollywood

(The Register)

DMCA Muscle Kills DVD Copying, for Real

(Wired)

RealNetworks Settles RealDVD Lawsuit: Has To Cough Up $4.5mil, Stop Supporting The Software

(Washington Post)

Real Networks settles lawsuits

(Financial Times)