We reported this morning on RealNetworks (NSDQ: RNWK) filing a lawsuit against the major movie studios, pre-empting a suit that MPAA was supposed to file today…that MPAA suit is now in progress. In its complaint, filed today in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, MPAA is asking for a temporary restraining order, and the studios says that RNWK violates DMCA because its software illegally bypasses the copyright protection built into DVDs that protect movies against theft.
“RealNetworks’ RealDVD should be called StealDVD,” said Greg Goeckner, the General Counsel for MPAA. “The major motion picture studios have been making major investments in technologies that allow people to access entertainment in a variety of new and legal ways. This includes online video-on-demand, download-to-own, as well as legitimate digital copies for storage and use on computers and portable devices that are increasingly being made available on or with DVDs.”
Among the complaints, it points pot that the RealDVD software enables users to engage in an “illegal practice known as ‘rent, rip and return,’ whereby a person rents a DVD from a legitimate business like Blockbuster (NYSE: BBI) or Netflix (NSDQ: NFLX), uses the RealDVD software to make multiple permanent illegal copies of the movie, and returns the DVD, only to rent another popular title and make permanent copies of it, repeating the cycle of theft over and over again without ever making a purchase. On its own Web site, RealNetworks acknowledges that this behavior is illegal and that its software could be used in that manner.” More details in release.
MPAA’s lawsuit, embedded below: