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
    NSMike, 8 Oct 2008 @ 5:59am


    "some might feel comfortable with the Real brand"

    Have you lost your mind, Mike?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    AJ, 8 Oct 2008 @ 6:01am

    Odd thing is...

    I have never felt the need to rip my DVD's untill I heard about this court case. A 30 second google search and 10 min later I had a working DVD ripper. I own alot of DVD's, and I'm always spending some time trying to find the one I want. Now i can just load em on my laptop or mass storage drive and watch them whenever I want, without searching or risking scratching the disk.

    Knowing I can buy them and put them in a format I prefer, so i can watch them when and how I want, I will probably buy more. Why cant these guys see the value in that? I'm just joe user and I can see being able to do that increases the value of DVD itself.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    tracker1, 8 Oct 2008 @ 6:31am


    I would never use a DRM'd format for ripping DVDs, and find a lot of people wouldn't do it without their 16+ GB iPods as a target for their ripping needs. DVD43/AnyDVD + Nero, Handbrake or a number of other tools works pretty well. I don't see the REAL solution going very far. I stopped trusting their brand a long time ago. Int the mid-late 90's when they were the only decent solution, sure. When they started putting crapware in their software installers is where I drew the line. Putting their crapware, checked to install, under the fold of a list of other crap that wasn't checked is beyond unscrupulous.

    I don't install *ANY* REAL products, and don't intend to start with this steaming pile... On the other hand, it's pretty much established that the DeCSS code is out there, and it isn't considered an effective anti-copying measure as a result of the widespread distribution at this point.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    Robin, 8 Oct 2008 @ 6:44am

    Left Behind

    Pity the movie industry. This sort of behavior is going to insure they become, as they say they fear, as dead as the music distribution industry.

    MPAA To Movie Fans: You Are Not Allowed To Copy It


    Always an interesting discussion on this subject 'round these parts. And I suppose on the strictest of technical and legal merits, the guy is probably very right.

    But life, tools and technology are racing ahead (as joe user pointed out above), leaving the movie industry behind doing what may well be correct legally, but just isn't very smart.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 8 Oct 2008 @ 6:51am

    MPAA: Not 1 cent!

    They can kiss my boot

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    Jake, 8 Oct 2008 @ 7:51am

    Re: Odd thing is...

    He didn't say they would be smart people, just there really are people out there who automatically assume that just because a brand is popular and in widespread use, it doesn't suck.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    Truth, 8 Oct 2008 @ 8:04am

    Why would anyone need this program? DVDshrink is out there and free. Then there is the better option of DVDdecrypter is still out there if you can find it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. 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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. identicon
    nasch, 8 Oct 2008 @ 10:16am

    Legal process

    I'm no lawyer, but it seems like the decision process on this would be something like deciding how much merit the plaintiff's case has, and based on that whether they should temporarily get what they're asking for while the trial proceeds. What you seem to be suggesting is that the judge might make a decision about the merit of the case, and if it weighs sufficiently in favor of the plaintiff, decide on her own what is best for the plaintiff, even if it is the exact opposite of what they are asking for. To extend this to a trial verdict, that would be like ruling that the plaintiff is correct that Real's software is illegal, and that Real can continue distributing it without penalty because the plaintiffs would be better off that way. I hope that the judge has plenty of discretion, but the actions that the plaintiff and defendant are asking for should come into play, rather than the judge just making up what she thinks is best for whoever she decides in favor of. I hope I'm making sense and please correct me if I'm legally incorrect or misunderstood your position.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. identicon
    Rekrul, 8 Oct 2008 @ 2:10pm

    How many years will it be before we start getting judges in the courtroom who actually have at least a basic understanding of today's technology? Or is one of the requirements for becoming a judge that you avoid any and all technology produced in the last 20 years?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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