MPAA Kills RealDVD for Good: The End of DVD Copying?
Instead of appealing a decision that deemed its DVD-copying software illegal, Real Networks caved to the studios and will pay $4.5 million
Instead of appealing a decision that deemed its $30 RealDVD ripping software illegal, the company is paying the studios $4.5 million as reimbursement for legal fees.
Under the auspices of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), the studios sued Real in September 2008, claiming violations under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). The company also was sued for a breach of contract with the DVD CCA (Copy Control Association), which licenses the Content Scramble System (CSS) decryption software.
An injunction was imposed – and never lifted -- on sales of RealDVD.
In August 2009, the MPAA prevailed in its case against Real, which promised to appeal the decision.
Yesterday, Real gave up.
In addition to coughing up $4.5 million, Real agreed to abandon its claims against the studios and shut off metadata to the 2,700 users who managed to buy the software before the injunction was ordered.
After yesterday’s decision, MPAA general counsel Daniel Mandil said that the court’s “rulings and this settlement affirm what we have said from the very start of this litigation: It is illegal to bypass the copyright protections built into DVDs.”
He added, “We will continue to vigorously pursue companies that attempt to bring these illegal circumvention products and devices to market.”
Death Knell for DVD Copying?
CE pros are probably asking: What does this mean for Kaleidescape?
Kaleidescape was sued in 2004, not for violations under the DMCA but for breach of contract with the DVD CCA.
The DVD CCA maintains that its licensing agreement prohibits the sale of products that enable users to copy DVDs – even if the copies are bit-for-bit, with CSS intact.
Kaleidescape servers – with their five-digit price tags -- perform such bit-for-bit copying, which is one reason the company has always maintained that it complies with the DVD CCA licensing agreement and the DMCA.
DVD Ripping: The Whole Picture
Kaleidescape vs. DVD CCA: Judge Rules Against Movie Servers
Tentative ruling in landmark DVD-copying case says Kaleidescape knew its movie servers might be in violation of DVD CCA licensing agreement that prohibits copying of DVDs.
DVD Ripping: The Latest on the Legal Front
This compilation of articles on the legality of DVD ripping, and related fair-use cases, will be updated continuously.
Understanding the Kaleidescape, RealDVD Cases
What have the courts really decided on DVD copying, and what are the implications for the future? We debunk the myths about the the two lawsuits and clarify the current legal state of DVD ripping.
Is DVD 'Ripping' the Same as 'Archiving?'
Is the term "ripping" generally understood as the "illegal" form of copying a disk? Likewise, is "archiving" known as the bit-for-bit "legal" way of doing it?
Can You Be Sued for Helping Clients Rip DVDs?
EFF attorney Fred von Lohmann explains some of the legal issues involved in selling and installing products that enable users to copy DVDs.
Is Your DVD Server Legal? Manufacturers Say Yes!
Developers of movie-ripping products insist their products are legal. Here's how the manufacturers justify their solutions.
Copy Protection Group Sues Kaleidescape (2005)
Kaleidescape has a license from the DVD CCA to employ CSS decoding in its media servers, which it does. Now, DVD CCA is suing Kaleidescape for breach of contract.
Would Studios Rather We Buy DVD Ripping Products Offshore?
As studios work to quash legitimate products like RealDVD, offshore providers of DVD ripping software -- like AnyDVD developer SlySoft -- are reaping the rewards.
Industry Insider: DVD CCA Is an Innovation-Stifling Cartel (2005)
The DVD Copyright Control Association (DVD CCA) is a bunch of bullies. The organization manages to coerce all manufacturers of DVD players to sign away their rights to innovation.