RealDVD court case gets underway

Real DVD in the courts
Real DVD in the courts

The much-publicised spat between the MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America) and RealDVD has hit the courts, where the judge has sealed the case away from the prying eyes of the public.

RealDVD, created by RealNetworks, is a type of DVD ripping software which was originally touted as the first legitimate program of its kind.

Its makers even released a statement stating that it "fully complies with the DVD Copy Control Association's license agreement."

Despite the software being heavily littered with DRM, so only five PCs could store the DVD rip, the MPAA believes that the software itself is based on an illegal hacking code and that RealNetworks is exploiting a loophole rather than adhering to licensing agreements.

Napster judge

The judge, Marilyn Patel, decided that the courtroom would be closed to the public as, according to CNET, "confidential information might be disclosed during testimony about DVD-encryption technology".

Patel is no stranger to copyright law, having resided over the Napster court case back in 2001.

Real actually believes that its DRM-enabled software can help in stemming piracy and put a stop to the studio's "rent, rip, and return" problem, where consumers rent a film, rip it to their hard drive and return the movie.

According to PC Mag, however, the MPAA is worried that by making such software mainstream, then legitimate movie ripping will mean that more movies will "go viral" on the internet.

The case continues.

Via CNET and PC Mag

Marc Chacksfield

Marc Chacksfield is the Editor In Chief, at DC Thomson. He started out life as a movie writer for numerous (now defunct) magazines and soon found himself online - editing a gaggle of gadget sites, including TechRadar, Digital Camera World and Tom's Guide UK. At Shortlist you'll find him mostly writing about movies and tech, so no change there then.