Judge Keeps Restraining Order On RealDVD

from the not-ready-to-give-in dept

Earlier this week we noted that the judge in the lawsuit over the RealDVD software had placed a secret temporary injunction against RealNetworks selling the software. The original promise was that a more permanent injunction -- or a lifting of the injunction -- would come Tuesday. But Tuesday has come and gone and the judge has decided she needs more time to decide on an injunction, and may want to consult some "experts" on the subject.

I can understand the desire to better understand the situation, but it's hard to see how preventing the sale of the software in the meantime does any less harm to the movie industry. In fact, you could easily make the argument that it does more harm to the industry, based on the way the industry defines harm. That is, right now, if someone wants to make a backup copy of a DVD, they're going to look online and find a variety of free ripping options, that offer no additional DRM and make totally free and clear rips. If Real's software was out there, they might discover that option and pay to get additional DRM (why, I don't know -- but some might feel comfortable with the Real brand, for example). Thus, it's difficult to see how the movie industry is any worse off if Real's software is on the market. In that scenario, at least some might end up with ripped DVDs with DRM. Without Real on the market, those who want to rip DVDs will have their rips with no DRM at all.
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Filed Under: dvd ripping, injunction, realdvd, restraining order, secrecy
Companies: mpaa, realnetworks


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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 8 Oct 2008 @ 8:24am

    Just to be accurate, what is currently in place is a temporary restraining order (TRO). What the judge (who is a highly regarded jurist) is being asked to decide is if she should issue a preliminary injunction that would remain in place until at least the completion of pre-trial discovery. A preliminary injunction is governed by several legal rules, an important one of which is the likelihood that the plaintiff will succeed on the merits of the case. This involves a factual and legal inquiry that cannot be made in a vacuum. Of course the judge is going to take some time. She has to in order to render an informed opinion. If you were in her place you would have no choice but to do the same. It is not at all unusual for this process to take a few weeks as the necessary information is gathered, briefs presented, and arguments of counsel presented in a formal hearing.

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