RealDVD court case gets underway
27th Apr 2009 | 11:43
Movie copyright laws hang in the balance in closed courtroom
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.
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.