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Studios to sue Real over 'illegal' RealDVD

updated 02:05 pm EDT, Tue September 30, 2008

Studios to Sue Real

Several major studios plan to sue RealNetworks for what they believe is inherent copyright infringement in the company's RealDVD ripping software, according to a tip sent to the AP. Disney, Fox, Paramount, Sony, Universal and Warner are all said to believe that the software is deliberately bypassing the CSS encryption on DVD movies and so violating their copyrights. They also plan a temporary injunction on just-begun sales of the app, the unnamed source indicates.

RealNetworks has so far maintained that RealDVD avoids the legal issues that have blocked some apps as its approach doesn't strip the CSS from the movies themselves and thus doesn't allow copying beyond the permissions applied by the software itself. However, RealDVD currently allows more rights than the studios themselves and uses a custom copy protection system to distribute ripped movies to as many as five PCs that also have licenses for the software.

Movie houses have themselves acknowledged concerns about transferring DVDs and HD movies to computers and portable media players but have so far opted for solutions such as iTunes Digital Copy, which include a separate iPod-resolution file on the disc that can be imported into iTunes and shares the same multi-computer rights as iTunes downloads.

By Electronista Staff


  1. climacs

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Sep 2001


    amateur legal opinions

    are GO!

  1. sujovian

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2008



    I wonder what Telestream is doing different that is preventing them from getting sued. Their Drive-In product does the same thing and has also just started shipping after a year in public beta.

  1. Guest

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 1999


    It is not illegal

    The only 'illegal' part of this would be when you remove the copy protection from DVD's. It is NOT illegal for you, the person who owns the DVD, from removing the copy protection. The DCMA has made it illegal for someone else to help you to do so. This specific scenario doesn't apply to this case because...Real doesn't remove the CSS copy protection (they are copying the encrypted data, and only decrypt it when playing the content).

  1. WiseWeasel

    Junior Member

    Joined: Apr 1999



    Well, I guess people will have to go back to using MacTheRipper and Handbrake to rip their DVDs into standard formats with zero copy protection. Problem solved. I guess these guys just can't get enough of shooting themselves in the foot...

  1. Guest

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 1999


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