updated 10:00 am EDT, Thu May 14, 2009
Real Sues MPAA
RealNetworks today fought back against Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) claims that it was aiding piracy by filing counterclaims against both six studios in the MPAA and the DVD Copy Control Association. Sent through a Northern District of California court, the complaints accuse both groups of violating antitrust law by colluding together on trying to block legal alternatives to fair use copying of DVDs. Rather than grant copyrights through individual studios, permission is offered solely through a joint agreement between all of the studios and the DVD CCA, effectively letting them exclude anyone they decide offers competition to their own methods.
The software developer argues that RealDVD fully honors existing copy protection while making its copies of movies and in fact adds extra protection to prevent the converted titles from being shared illegally. It works by copying movies but preserving the CSS encryption used by the studios to prevent mass duplication.
In filing the lawsuits, Real asks not only for an injunction to halt what it sees as anti-competitive practices but to receive compensation for lost revenue due to the preliminary injuction that halted sales of RealDVD last year.