Studios Sue Over RealDVD

As expected, Hollywood is none too happy about RealNetworks’ new RealDVD DVD copying software. So unhappy, in fact, that the Motion Picture Association of America has filed a lawsuit to block it from being sold. The major studios claim that RealDVD violates the Digital Millennium Copyright Act by allowing a user to make multiple copies of content and distribute it to others.

Real, however, appears to have beaten them to the punch. Earlier this morning the company issued a press release saying that, “In response to threats made by the major movie studios,” it was filing suit, asking a court to rule that RealDVD “fully complies with the DVD Copy Control Association’s license agreement.”

The MPAA claims that the Content Scramble System built into DVDs that prevents illicit copying and distribution is being circumvented. Someone could rent a movie, rip it to their hard drive and return the disc without purchasing the content, the organization alleges. It’s seeking a temporary restraining order to stop Real from selling RealDVD, which went on sale this morning for $30, as well as unspecified damages.

Real refutes the MPAA’s claims that RealDVD enables illegal distribution of content, saying that the added layer of encryption the service provides locks content to a particular computer. Additionally, the company says that the software is legal because it does not alter or compress the original file.

The MPAA hopes the judge will make a decision on the restraining order today or tomorrow.

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