Did RealNetworks Violate The DMCA With Their Music Player?

from the I-don't-think-so... dept

The folks over at DRM Watch believe that RealNetworks must have violated the DMCA to create their latest RealPlayer 10 software that can play songs downloaded off of other music download stores like iTunes or Napster 2.0. No matter what you think of the DMCA, though, I don’t think that’s true at all. The point of the copy protection technology used by iTunes and Napster (and others) is to prevent copying of the songs. If you’re playing the song from the same location with a different application, then no copying has occurred. The only issue is building a player that recognizes the specific file formats – and Apple with their AAC files and Napster with their WMA files are pretty well known file formats. I don’t think either application was designed so that songs downloaded to them could only be played within their software. So, am I missing something, or is this article off-base? If they are off-base, then it means it’s the second time in a row – as the whole point of this article was to correct a mistake in the guy’s last article, where he claimed that RealPlayer 10 couldn’t play songs from iTunes or Napster.

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Comments on “Did RealNetworks Violate The DMCA With Their Music Player?”

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Cshark says:

No Subject Given

No way was this a violation.
That is, unless they’re going after RealPlayer as a circumvention device, which they would have to prove. Further, they would have to prove that playing songs from these very specific destinations in RealPlayer is the sole reason for RP’s existance. It’s a stretch, but possible.

In a world where Lexmark can sue over people refilling their printer cartradges, and garage door opener companies can sue third parties for creating remote controlls that open them, I would assume that this would be possible as well.

And just because they sue (if they sue) doesn’t mean they will win.

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