U.S. movie studios sued Real Networks in federal court today, alleging that Real's RealDVD product violates the Digital Millenium Copyright Act and breaches Real's contract with the DVD Copy Control Association. Read the MPAA's complaint. The move follows Real's release of the software today, which Real accompanied with its own proactive lawsuit against the MPAA. Real is seeking declaratory relief that it didn't violate its DVD-CCA license. First, the PR battle:
From MPAA general counsel Greg Goeckner (PDF):
“RealNetworks knows its product violates the law and undermines the hard-won trust that has been growing between America’s movie makers and the technology community. The major motion picture studios have been making major investments in technologies that allow people to access entertainment in a variety of new and legal ways. ... Our industry will continue on this path because it gives consumers greater choices than ever. However, we will vigorously defend our right to stop companies from bringing products to market that mislead consumers and clearly violate the law.”And from Real:
"RealDVD allows consumers to securely store, manage and play their DVDs on their computers. It does not enable users to distribute copies of their DVDs. RealDVD not only maintains the DVD's native CSS encryption intact, it also adds another layer of digital rights management encryption that effectively locks the DVD copy to the owner's computer to ensure that the content can not be improperly copied or shared. RealDVD provides consumers with a great solution for the playback and management of their DVD collections while adding security that is more robust than CSS.
So much for PR. In a following post, I'll dig into the actual claims in the complaints.