Real: studios, DVD-CCA “illegal cartel” squeeze out fair use

14 05 2009

RealNetworks has filed legal counterclaims against the DVD Copy Control Association and all the major movie studios, claiming that the studios conspired to eliminate competition in the market for fair use copies of DVDs. The company says that the studios abused their power by refusing to grant licenses to Real unless the whole group was involved, and wants the court to force them to drop their lawsuit against Real.

Real has been dealing with the legal fallout from his RealDVD software since September of 2008—before it was even released to the public. The software claimed to be able to rip DVDs while still preserving the discs’ copy protection mechanisms. At that time, Real seemed confident that RealDVD operated well within the DMCA because the software didn’t break the CSS encryption—it merely copied it straight to a hard drive, keeping the encryption intact. Additionally, RealDVD added a new layer of DRM to each file to lock the files to the user and PC that created them, which the company thought would keep it on the movie studios’ good side.

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