Tuesday, May 30, 2023 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

RealNetworks Sues Big Studios|In ‘RealDVD’ Software Dispute

SAN JOSE (CN) - RealNetworks sued Disney, Paramount, Viacom, and others, including the DVD Copy Control Association, insisting that its "RealDVD" copying and decryption system does not violate the defendants' rights.

RealNetworks claims the Santa Clara Superior Court declared as much a year ago.

RealNetworks says its device copies a DVD to a hard drive, without removing or altering the DVD's encryption system, "for safekeeping and other playback purposes." It also has other uses, including looking up info about DVDs on Internet databases, and providing links to Web sites.

The basis of RealNetworks' claim seems to be that "When the RealDVD software is used to make a personal copy of a DVD, it not only preserves the Content Scramble System (CSS) encryption the studio defendants use to encrypt DVDs, but also incorporates an additional level of protection."

It says the DVD Copy Control Association licenses the technology to DVD hardware and software manufacturers. "The studio defendants assert that the CSS license agreements grants the studio defendants, as third party beneficiaries, the right to enforce its terms against licensees, and in particular the right to prohibit the sale of the RealDVD product."

No it doesn't, RealNetworks. It claims Santa Clara Superior Court concluded so in DVD copy Control Association Inc. v. Kaleidoscope Inc.

Plaintiff is represented by Michael Berta with Wilson Sonsini Goodrich of San Francisco.

Read the Top 8

Sign up for the Top 8, a roundup of the day's top stories delivered directly to your inbox Monday through Friday.