Real suspends RealDVD in wake of MPAA lawsuit

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11:45 am EDT October 7, 2008 - Developments in Universal City Studios Productions LLP v. RealNetworks Inc. published online yesterday reveal that Real made its RealDVD product unavailable over the weekend because of a temporary restraining order issued by District Judge Marilyn Hall Patel.


The text of the filing begins: "Defendants have already caused significant irreparable harm to Real by prevailing upon this court to institute a temporary halt to sales of RealDVD since the evening of October 3, 2008..."

However, neither the MPAA or Real Networks was allowed to disclose to the public that a temporary restraining order had been put in place. While this is an uncharacteristic judgement from Patel that many have already speculated upon, Real's defense says "Defendants nowhere address the public's interest in the grant or denial of the injunction they seek. That omission speaks volumes."

The MPAA [(r)C 08-4548 Real Networks Inc v. DVD Copy Control Associates et al:
Defendants' Motion for TRO] is scheduled to make its plea at 2:00 pm PST.

10:21 am EDT October 6, 2008 - The legal battle between RealNetworks and the Motion Picture Association of America has led to Real temporarily setting aside its contentious product RealDVD while the proceedings are under way.

On RealDVD's product site, a message now reads: "Due to recent legal action taken by the Hollywood Movie studios against us, RealDVD is temporarily unavailable. Rest assured, we will continue to work diligently to provide you with software that allows you to make a legal copy of DVDs for your own use."

Last week, Real filed for a declaratory judgment on its RealDVD product in anticipation of a suit that was filed later that same day by the MPAA. The filmmaking group charged Real with willful violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act in making a product that illegally bypasses copyright protection. Real's product is marketed as something of a DVD archival tool, allowing DVDs to be ripped for storage or portability. The MPAA feels the product would encourage "renting, ripping, and returning" of DVDs.

The case (Universal City Studios Productions LLP v. RealNetworks Inc.) was transferred to the Northern District of California on Thursday under the "first to file" rule, as that was where Real had filed its motion for a declaratory judgment before the MPAA had filed its own suit.

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