RealNetworks Agrees To Pay $4.5 Million In Legal Fees To Hollywood Over RealDVD; Gives Up
from the something's-wrong-with-the-system dept
We still can’t quite understand Hollywood’s crusade against RealNetworks over its RealDVD offering. The software presented a way for DVD owners to backup their DVDs. It didn’t allow for distribution — unlike pretty much every other ripping software. In fact, Real basically put a new DRM around each backup copy. Personally, this seemed to make the product less useful, but the MPAA still sued RealNetworks for daring to let people backup their movies, and amazingly won nearly every aspect of the lawsuit. The judge (the same one who shut down Napster, by the way) had already banned the sale of RealDVD, and now she’s agreed to a settlement that basically involves RealNetworks conceding every point, and paying $4.5 million to Hollywood to cover legal fees. It’s a full capitulation.
So what did Hollywood accomplish here? It shut down a software product that allows people to backup the DVDs they legally own — not to distribute them. In the meantime, of course, there are a bunch of DVD ripping programs out there that have no such restrictions. In other words, Hollywood’s brilliant legal strategists just pushed anyone who wants to back up their movies to use solutions that make it easier for them to share those movies with others. It just made sure that such products will always be underground, rather than where the industry can actually work together with them. Congrats, guys, for killing yet another tech product you didn’t like, just because it made your products more valuable.