Hollywood And RealNetworks Head To Court Over DVD Ripping

from the fun-to-watch dept

As was widely expected when RealNetworks announced plans to release some DVD ripping software, the lawsuits are now flying. RealNetworks rushed to court to ask for a declaratory judgment, though the MPAA admitted it had its own lawsuit ready to go as well. Real getting to the courthouse faster may mean slightly more favorable jurisdiction for the company. In the meantime, it seems like the MPAA is facing a huge uphill battle here, as Real's software includes its own DRM, so it's hardly a case of allowing widespread copying. Plus, making personal backups is allowed under copyright law. The real issue is where two conflicting parts of the law collide: the right to make personal backups and the DMCA's prohibition on circumventing DRM. Real claims that since it adds its own layer of DRM, the studios' DRM is not circumvented. That may make the most sense from the standpoint of the lawsuit, but it still seems like a strong case could be made by simply focusing on how people have a right to make personal backups. Of course, this lawsuit is something of a marketing stunt. There are better DVD rippers out there that are available for free, so it's difficult to see Real ever getting very far with this product, no matter what happens with the lawsuit.
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Filed Under: anti-circumvention, dmca, dvd ripping
Companies: 321 studios, mpaa, realnetworks


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  1. icon
    Mike (profile), 30 Sep 2008 @ 7:07pm

    Re:

    I am not "requiring" anything, but merely noting that the declarative statement made in the article is limited to computer programs. Should the law be broader? Perhaps, but what the law "should" say does not trump what it "does" say.

    I am noting, again, that you refuse to explain how one bag of bits is different than the other.

    A movie IS a software program. It's a bag of bits.

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