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RealDVD Software Gets Next Court Date

RealNetworks gets its next chance to defend the lawfulness of its RealDVD software package on April 24 before a U.S. District Court judge in San Francisco, company chairman/CEO Rob Glaser told TWICE.

The $29.99 software package, off the market since last October because of the judge’s temporary restraining order, copies movie DVDs to a PC’s hard drive for storage and playback. Up to four additional PCs can be registered with Real at a cost of $19.99 each to play copies saved to an external USB hard drive.

RealNetworks is defending the software from a lawsuit filed late last year by the movie industry, which contends the software violates the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA). The studios fear the software, and by inference DVD-copying movie servers for the home, will encourage consumers to copy rented and borrowed DVDs and thus harm the studios’ DVD rental and sales income.

Last October, the district court judge imposed a temporary restraining order that prevents Real from marketing the software until she decides on a movie-studio request for a preliminary injunction. That injunction would prevent sales while the judge hears the suit’s merits. In their suit, the studios seek damages and a permanent injunction against sales.

Glaser said the temporary retraining-order phase of the dispute has been “protracted” because of “process and substantive reasons” and the court’s busy schedule.

Glaser went on to say his software protects rights holders and contended consumers “have the right to make a secure copy” that can’t be shared on a P2P file-sharing network.