RealDVD bested in MPAA match up
Two years ago, the MPAA sued RealNetworks over their RealDVD software, which allowed for backing up DVDs to a hard drive, claiming an infringement of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). Last August, the MPAA prevailed in the case against Real. The Judge in the case made a very cryptic comment in the decision stating:
Had Real’s products been manufactured differently, i.e., if what happened in Vegas really did stay in Vegas, this might have been a different case. But, it is what it is. Once the distributive nature of the copying process takes hold, like the spread of gossip after a weekend in Vegas, what’s done cannot be undone.
After months of deliberation, Real decided not to appeal the decision, and paid $4,500,000 to the MPAA for legal fee reimbursement. They also shut off their online metadata service.
From the judge’s comments, it seems this decision affects software which could lead to distribution of the content. This may favor Kaleidescape’s argument considering their closed-architecture does not allow for data on their servers to be accessed except by associated Kaleidescape players.
It also seems to target a retail software, and should be a pronouncement on personal Fair Use.