On September 30, 2008, RealNetworks launched a new product called RealDVD. The software allows any user to save a copy of a DVD movie they own. RealNetworks is facing a lawsuit from the release of this software under claims that the software allows anyone to save a movie they do not legally own, or renting movies, ripping them and then returning them.
On October 3, 2008, the company announced that the software was not available to download due to the lawsuits brought against them.
On August 11, 2009, Judge Marilyn Hall Patel, of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, ruled that RealDVD violated the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and RealNetworks' contract with the DVD CCA. In the judgment, Patel maintained the preliminary injunction barring the distribution of RealDVD.
"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 your DVDs for your own use," says on RealDVD's official website.
Hollywood's six largest movie studios have banded together in a lawsuit to shut down RealDVD, a possibility that would be a blow to your consumer rights. The bottom line is that Hollywood does not want you to have the same "fair use rights" to make a backup copy of your DVDs in the same way that you have had with your music CDs for more than a decade.
Hollywood argues that RealDVD circumvents the technology that prevents illegal copying; RealDVD does not compromise any such protections. In fact, RealDVD adds more stringent protections to prevent piracy or other illegal copying. Real respects the rights of content creators and legitimate rights holders, and we want to work with them to continue delivering innovative digital entertainment technology that ultimately benefit you.
Copying DVD is legal for fair use
"Well this is pretty ridiculous if I may say so because I can look up dvd backup software so that I can back it up on my computer. I believe that we have the right to buy a DVD back it up and in case in does get scratched which will eventually happen regardless and burn to a DVD so we the consumer can watch it. This is a gray zone and it really should not be because it was decided by the supreme court that it could be done and if for example I buy a audio CD lets call it transformers cause that has good music then shouldn't you have the right to put it on all your home computers, game consoles, ipods, etc. Then why doesn't this work with DVD's??? If the encryption for the DVD has already been broken and even the blu-ray why are they suing??? "
They want everybody to buy movies, but not own them.
" They want everybody to buy movies, but not own them. That's not such a good position to be in it. And they are to stupid to realize how software works (not context sensitive) and that people want to enjoy the media they have bought. And about the archival backup thing in the DCMA. What If I want to use the original as archival and a copy to play. Shouldn't that be allowed? It should. This way the artwork on the original disk gets better preserved.
It's the studio's and copyright association's own fault. Go after the pirates, now they try to limit the consumers with all sorts of crap like Digital Restrictions/Rights Management, but pirates don't go in those waters. "
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RealDVD: "The consumer should have the same fair use rights to copy DVDs just as they have for the last decade with music."
MPAA: "One copy is violation of the DMCA. "
Patel (represent for RealDVD) raised a crucial question during the MPAA's closing arguments. She asked Bart Williams, one of the MPAA's attorneys, whether a consumer possesses the right to copy a DVD he or she purchased for personal use.
"Not for the purposes under the DMCA," Williams said. "One copy is a violation of the DMCA."
Then Patel tried again. This time she asked about a hypothetical device that sounded very much like Facet, the DVD player that Real is planning to release that copies as well as plays DVDs. Real says that the copies of movies made by Facet are locked in the box and can not be distributed illegally.
"What if Real or someone made a device that allowed for making a copy only to the hard drive that is on that machine?" Patel asked Williams. "And you can't make another copy from that. Would that be circumvention of the DMCA? Would it in fact mean that it really was sufficient fair use under the DMCA?"
"Yes it would be circumvention," Williams replied, "and no it would not be fair use. The only backup copy Congress envisioned was archival, that you would never use until such time when your main computer wasn't working...Congress would not have gone through the process or have this process if you're going to say there is some fair use rights that allows you to circumvent."
Real once argued against fair use
Williams then told the judge that Real had argued against fair use in a legal case the company brought against Streambox nearly 10 years ago. Real filed suit against Streambox for creating the Streambox VCR, a system that enabled users to copy Real's streaming music and video. Streambox argued that users were making fair use copies. Real sought a temporary restraining order, just as the studios have in the current case, which was granted.
"There is no fair use defense (for Streambox against the DMCA)," Real argued in that case, court documents show. "The DMCA does not have a fair use exception allowing individuals to circumvent access and copy protection measures.
"In enacting the DMCA," Real continued, "(Congress) expressly outlawed products such as the (Streambox VCR) that serve to promote the unauthorized copying and distribution of copyrighted works."
For this reason, Williams asked the judge for an estoppel ruling against Real. This is a legal doctrine that would bar Real from arguing for fair use because it had made a counter argument--and prevailed--in a prior case.
Real is vulnerable to DMCA violation claims. The copyright law prohibits anyone from cracking copy protections.
Even if Patel rules that Real did not circumvent Content Scramble System, the studios encryption technology, which the MPAA claims it has, Real has to prove that it did not circumvent ARccOS and RipGuard. These are copy protections measures some of the studios use as an added layer of protection and are not covered in the CSS license Real obtained from the studios.
In previous court proceedings, MPAA lawyers presented e-mails and testimony that showed Real worked hard to find a way to get past ARccOS and RipGuard, including the hiring of an overseas company that the MPAA alleges is run by "Ukranian hackers."
Williams wrapped up and then it was Real's turn.
Disclaimer: Because of the DMCA ( Digital Millennium Copyright Act ), it’s illegal for you to rip a DVD that has CSS ( Content Scramble System ) on it. I’m no lawyer, but I think it should be fair use to do it. This being a democracy though, my opinons don’t matter, so yeah. Don’t hold me responsible if the MPAA ( Motion Picture Association of America ) comes knocking at your door. That said though, there’s a lot of DVDs that don’t have content protection, those should be perfectly legal to rip.