RealNetworks says people will be able to use the software to backup DVDs, just not now.
The RealNetworks vs MPAA saga continues. The battleground is RealNetwork’s realDVD software, a software program designed to copy DVDs. The question is whether it’s legal and how copyright law should be applied to its use.
The undisputed fact is that RealDVD enables consumers to create digital to digital archival copies of DVDs.
The MPAA alleges the software is a violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act which explicitly prohibits the circumvention of a digital copyright mechanism. They also claim that RealNetworks “misuses a limited license [Real Networks] obtained to make authorized DVD products.”
RealNetworks, which filed its suit first to seek a preemptive judicial ruling, says this software is a way to “protect your discs from scratches and damage,” and that the software does not remove or alter the "content scrambling system," or CSS, encryption of DVD. In fact, it copies and maintains the CSS encryption.
RealNetworks CEO Rob Glaser is still confident that people will be able to use the company’s RealDVD software to make personal backup copies – just not now.
In an interview with reporters at the International Consumer Electronics Show, Glaser said he expects that his company will win its case against the MPAA.
He also said that if the company needs to make small changes to its software so that it can be sold, it will, "but we don’t anticipate any," he added.
RealNetworks is currently subject to a temporary ban on the distribution of the software, which the MPAA successfully persuaded Judge Marilyn Hall Patel in San Francisco to put in place back in October. Glaser said Friday he expects an injunction hearing will be held in that city in March.
"I’m not satisfied that in fact this technology is not in violation of the DCMA," Judge Patel said at the hearing. "The harm is far less to RealNetworks than it would be for who knows how many copies being made."
Glaser also said that before it released RealDVD, RealNetworks "assessed there was some risk" of a lawsuit from Hollywood studios regarding the software, but "tried to avoid it."