Court says cracking DRM OK if purpose is legal
A new court ruling on Friday could set a legal precedent that allows bypassing digital rights management (DRM) for fair use purposes. New Orleans circuit Judge Emilio Garza found that GE hadn't violated the Digital Millennium Copyright Act by using hacked security dongles to repair uninterruptible power supplies from MGE UPS Systems as the goal itself was legal. While a jury fined GE $4.6 million for breaking copyright and misusing trade secrets, Judge Garza determined the DMCA hadn't been broken, as using hacked items by itself didn't constitute violating protection at the same time.
Real agrees to keep DVD ripper off shelves
RealNetworks on Wednesday night agreed to a settlement in movie studios' lawsuit against RealDVD. The deal will see the company agree to a permanent ban against selling the app and related technologies as well as pay out a settlement of $4.5 million to the MPAA members that launched the suit. In return, the MPAA has promised only to drop the legal action.
Rhapsody to be pure music firm
RealNetworks in a surprise move tonight broke off Rhapsody as a separate company. The move has the blessing of Real's partner in the venture, Viacom, and will transfer all the rights to Rhapsody so that its streaming and download music services remain intact. Real will also inject $18 million in cash and promises that Rhapsody will be independent, with no one else holding a majority stake.
Real allegedly brought on trouble itself
Judge Marilyn Patel in a quiet move on Friday dismissed Real's lawsuit against movie studios over their alleged collusion to block RealDVD. The Northern District Court official rejected the idea citing precedents that let companies band together to ensure a legal income and said the DVD Copy Control Association, as well as the Motion Picture Association of America, were allowed to work together to stop what they believed was illegal copying. Real also wasn't found to have suffered any significant losses from the move.
RealDVD gets court date
RealNetworks will get a chance to defend the legality of its RealDVD DVD ripping software on April 24th in court, launched back in September, sales of which were later banned by a federal judge and the ban extended after the software maker was sued by movie studios. The trial will take place in a US District Court in San Francisco, RealNetworks Chairman and CEO Rob Glaser said in a Friday TWICE report.
RealDVD ban extended
A temporary ban issued at the start of this week on RealNetwork’s sales of its RealDVD software, which allows users to copy DVD movies, has been extended until a hearing is held to decide whether or not to make the ban more permanent. The stop in sales was ordered by a US federal judge after Hollywood studios, represented by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), sued RealNetworks over copyright issues. The extension came just one day after the original temporary ban, on Tuesday, according to a Thursday report.