Studios win ruling over DVD copying

Judge: RealNetworks' technology violates copyrights

The Hollywood film studios notched a victory in their war on digital piracy Tuesday when a judge ruled against the DVD-copying technology known as RealDVD.

The MPAA argued that RealNetworks -- through its RealDVD technology -- has been violating copyrights and, in doing so, harming the financial interests of the talent, producers and studios involved in creating TV shows and movies that make their way to home video.

RealNetworks says it simply provided a way for consumers to make backup copies of DVDs they already own.

On Tuesday, U.S. District Court Judge Marilyn Hall Patel slapped a preliminary injunction on RealNetworks, preventing it from either selling the RealDVD software or licensing it to others. The judge cited a violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

RealNetworks will likely appeal and there's a chance an injunction could be stayed, but the MPAA seemed confident that its victory will stand.

"Judge Patel's ruling affirms what we have known all along: RealNetworks took a license to build a DVD player and instead made an illegal DVD copier," the organization said.

"Throughout the development of RealDVD, RealNetworks demonstrated that it was willing to break the law at the expense of those who create entertainment content."
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