Page last updated at 09:23 GMT, Tuesday, 7 October 2008 10:23 UK

DVD copying software gets pulled

Pirated DVDs
Illegal copying of DVDs is a huge headache for the movie industry

Software which claimed to be a legal way of copying DVDs has been withdrawn following legal action.

RealNetworks - the firm behind the software - has responded to restraining order issued by a US court stopped selling the RealDVD software.

Six major movie studios jointly sued the company on 30 September - the day the software was launched.

San Francisco District Court Judge Marilyn Hall Patel is due to review the case on 7 October.

Common ground

RealDVD is touted by RealNetworks as a legal way to turn a PC into a media server.

"It makes it easy to pause a programme and resume right where you left off, makes it easy to find the movie you want and no more lost or scratched discs," said Rob Glaser, chief executive of RealNetworks, on his firm's blog.

Mr Glaser claims that a second layer of encryption is built into the software but the MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America) said RealDVD circumvents its rules about copying.

The RealDVD site was taken down on 3 October but a defiant message posted to it read: "Rest assured, we will continue to work diligently to provide you with software that allows you to make a legal copy of your DVDs for your own use."

Mr Glaser expressed disappointment at the turn of events.

"As a company with a nearly 15 year track record of innovation that's both great for consumers and fully respectful of intellectual property, we're disappointed that the movie studios thought they had to file lawsuits," he wrote in his blog.

"We began active discussions with the studios even before we announced RealDVD and up until last night were optimistic that we could find common ground with them without having to resort to the legal system," he added.

The studios suing the firm are Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures, Twentieth Century Fox, Universal, Disney and Warner Bros.

The MPAA is currently prohibited from commenting on the case.

RealNetworks is no stranger to controversy. In 2004 Apple accused it of "hacker tactics" when it claimed to have found a way for non-Apple endorsed music tracks to be played on an iPod.

Microsoft pays RealNetworks $761m
11 Oct 05 |  Business
Storm over iPod 'hacker tactics'
30 Jul 04 |  Technology
Real sells 3m tracks at a loss
09 Sep 04 |  Technology
Real in online music price war
17 Aug 04 |  Business
Real 'frees' Apple's iPod player
26 Jul 04 |  Technology

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