back to article RealNetworks claims CSS license lets it copy DVDs. Sues studios

RealNetworks is filing an anti-trust action against the major US studios. It says it has a license to use CSS decryption which it obtained legally, and therefore its RealDVD copying software is not only legal, but attempts by the studios to block it amount to anti-trust. It will be interesting to see if a court agrees. Subtly …


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  1. Paul


    Does anyone use RealNetworks' software anymore? After RealPlayer rose to one of the biggest things in use on the net they added ads and bloatwared their apps to the point where almost nobody was using them. They went from being on every PC to being on next to none of them...

    ...after that does anyone use their software?

    Also, FUCK YOU RealNetworks for Rhapsody. Not because it's shit but because you forced people who'd been using the name for more than a decade out of it.

  2. blackworx


    Did you have to? It's half past nine in the morning and I haven't even had my toast yet.

  3. David Hicks
    Thumb Down

    Of course it's bullying

    "Subtly it is saying that trying to block the use of its software, when perfectly reasonably licensed, is a form of bullying, that the very act of issuing a suit against RealNetworks is an act of anti-trust."

    Well yes, because there's no "loser pays" rule in the US, in general, whoever has more money or is more committed to the fight can quite easily bully other parties into capitulation. Filing suit is the first step, dragging it out until the target is bankrupt through legal costs the second.

    The sue-happy US has become a place where the people try not to get noticed by the corporations, because even if they were 100% in the clear they could never afford to defend themselves.

  4. Sam Liddicott

    The law is a computer program

    The law is a computer program and the legal system is the computer.

    Real Networks just hacked that legal program by doing something unexpected.

    One day the lawyers will realise that co-operation and trust are simpler and gain, much more all round that a myriad of laws and agreements that are too many to comprehend.


  5. Eddie Edwards
    Thumb Up


    Well someone had to find the holes in the DMCA. Real Networks may not be my favourite company and they may not have my best interests at heart, but they're fighting the good fight.

    Fact is, the obvious next step for PMPs is for iTunes et al to support ripping DVD content, to transfer it to all your PMPs. We should have had this five years ago.

    DMCA nixes this, but it *should* be possible to decrypt and reencrypt the content without breaking that law. "Circumventing" a lock means removing it, not replacing it with another lock.

    (You should not even need a DVD-CCA license to do this, but allowing it with the license would be a start.)

    If Real win, every PMP can finally get DVD and BluRay ripping support. Hurrah for that.

  6. Dave Bell


    Careful not to get confused...

    This law was how the USA started trying to control corporate monopolies.. The lawyers who set up the DVD consortium certainly would have set it up to stay legal, though region coding might have been awkward if the USA didn't also have a different video standard to most of the world.

    But, while the precise wording, as understood by a US court, is what matters, this could cross the line into blocking competition. DRM fees can be quite a barrier to small enterprises, andif a writ comes over how you use the tech...

  7. RW

    @ Sam Liddicott

    "The law is a computer program and the legal system is the computer."

    Absolutely not.

    One of our secretaries went off to law school, figuring it offered better career potential than running a reception desk. Back for a visit some months after starting, I asked her what was the most surprising thing she'd learned so far; what was most at odds with her preconceptions of the law?

    Her response? That she'd thought of the law just as you do, a mechanism with a hopper into which you drop facts and which then, after a few turns of the crank, disgorges a verdict. But what she'd learned was that the law was almost entirely a matter of shades of gray, that absolutes were extremely rare.

  8. Mage Silver badge


    But you can rip all your personally owned DVDs and CDs to your PMP already, easily everywhere and legally many places.

    RIAA et Al fighting the wrong war.

  9. kain preacher

    @David Hicks

    Well yes, because there's no "loser pays" rule in the US, in general

    Um you have to petition the court after you win to get your legal fees. It's not automatic but it is there .

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