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Real Settles Lawsuits, Will Stop Selling RealDVD 139

angry tapir writes "RealNetworks has agreed to pay $4.5 million and permanently stop selling its RealDVD software as part of a legal settlement with six Hollywood movie studios. The lawsuits date back to 2008 and Slashdot has previously discussed them. RealDVD is an application that lets people make copies of their DVDs."
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Real Settles Lawsuits, Will Stop Selling RealDVD

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  • by N3tRunner ( 164483 ) * on Friday March 05, 2010 @09:22AM (#31370008)

    Because there's no other way to possibly make copies of DVDs now that RealDVD is gone!

    • by OrwellianLurker ( 1739950 ) on Friday March 05, 2010 @09:24AM (#31370022)
      The fact that it is even illegal is absurd. This case is just one depressing example.
      • by Jason Levine ( 196982 ) on Friday March 05, 2010 @09:42AM (#31370156) Homepage

        I agree. I have stacks of DVDs that I never watch because it's tricky to open the DVD case (it's in the living room where the kids often stack their toys), find the movie I want to watch, put it in the player and keep track of where the empty case is. Plus, if the kids want to watch a movie, they can't do it themselves. (My 1st grade son is computer/electronics savvy but I'm not letting him handle a DVD by himself just yet.)

        Meanwhile, I have a CinemaTube [brite-view.com] hooked up to an external hard drive. I've ripped many of my DVDs onto this hard drive and can now watch them on my TV without needing to load the discs. Technically, I've violated copyright law, but I don't consider this a violation because a) I'm just place/format shifting and b) I'm not sharing these rips out. (Nor am I downloading rips to put on there.)

        What I am doing isn't costing the movie industry any "lost sales." In fact, it might increase sales as I'll be more likely to watch DVD movies I buy and not just regard them as wasted cash. So why should it be illegal just because I *might* share the DVD rip on the Internet? Why not call sharing the DVD rip illegal (since that is what they are worried about) and end it at that? (Of course, the answer to these questions is that they want to have the ability later to sell you "digital copies" that will play on "authorized devices" even if they don't offer such copies for sale now.)

        • My 1st grade son is computer/electronics savvy but I'm not letting him handle a DVD by himself just yet.

          Then he must not be very "computer/electronics savvy". I swear, parents nowadays are crazy as outhouse rats... When I was in first grade I knew how to mix mom's drinks as well as serving as her DJ. Kids are so much more capable than you think!

          • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

            by Anonymous Coward

            When I was in first grade I knew how to mix mom's drinks as well as serving as her DJ. Kids are so much more capable than you think!

            Not all of us were raised by street savvy strippers.

          • as well as serving as her DJ.

            If you know what I mean. *wika wika*

          • Well, the first grader *might* handle the DVD properly if it weren't for two factors:

            1) The DVD player is above his reach. He's more likely to bring the entire entertainment center down on him than get the DVD in properly.

            2) He has a 2 year old little brother who would be quick enough to snatch the DVD the second his older brother looks away to do who-knows-what with it.

            Now when it comes to remote controls, he's a wiz. Too much of one, actually. He figured out how to record shows on our DVR by observing

            • yup, the "Daily Show" has no room because there are 342 episodes of "Spongebob".
            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by ndege ( 12658 )

              This is why I moved the wii, dvd, receiver/amp down low. We allow, and encourage, our 2 year old switch out dvds, adjust volume, etc. We went from having a upset/frustrated child (due to wanting to help and be involved) to having a child that is careful and loves to help by letting the child be involved and help. When we sit down to watch a DVD, the little one ejects the carsole, drops in the proper DVD, with it oriented correctly, pushes the carosole back in, and turns off the overhead lights: all this

          • by jedidiah ( 1196 )

            Handling DVDs properly is not a matter of being "computer savvy". It's a matter of being a klutz.

            Wii games and Disney movies aren't so bad because they have their own very nice cases.

            Get much beyond that and you end up with DVD cases that seem specifically engineered to scratch disks.

            Current tech that is "blessed" by the MPAA isn't really good at handling multi-disk sets like for TV.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by eldavojohn ( 898314 ) *

          What I am doing isn't costing the movie industry any "lost sales."

          That's where you are incorrect. Now, before you flame me, consider my same position. In high school I paid good money for a (licensed) MST3K Pod People VHS tape. It has since been watched to shreds. It did not help that I lent it to people in college so their filthy whore VHS players could gunk it up. I had no way to duplicate it digitally but had I done that initially, I would have.

          Many years later I have many (licensed) MST3K DVDs. Some from Rhino some from The Shout Factory. My ritual is simi

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by v1 ( 525388 )

            mac the ripper is still available and updated. it copies off the disc to a video_ts folder with the encryption and noops removed. (and region coding if necessary)

            Since the transcoding process takes awhile, I usually MTR all the discs in a box at once to hard drive, and queue them all up in handbrake. Let that run 2-3 days on its own with out having to feed it a disc every hour or so and it's done. (requires a fair chunk of free HD space for all those video_ts folders)

          • The industry has no real chance of wooing me with Blu Ray anytime soon. I don't even have an HD TV set in my house. The way I see it, money is tight and my TVs work fine. Do they show resolution as good as HD TVs? No, but it is good enough for my purposes. Eventually, when those TVs fail, I'll buy an HD TV but only because those seem to be the only ones on the market now.

            And even when I do get a HD TV, I'll still use my trusty DVD players. Heck, I'm still using one about 10 years old that has the anno

            • The industry has no real chance of wooing me with Blu Ray anytime soon. I don't even have an HD TV set in my house.

              Hear hear.

              I've had a DVD player for over 10 years now, and in that time I've been waiting for the HD specs to settle down to something constant so that I can buy something which is not going to be made obsolete in a year or two. All of the first gen HD adopters got hosed when they changed over to HDMI, and even the expected resolution and everything has been a moving target. I know someone wh

        • by ScrewMaster ( 602015 ) * on Friday March 05, 2010 @10:00AM (#31370332)

          Technically, I've violated copyright law

          No, I'm not a lawyer, but my understanding is that, in the U.S. anyway, you haven't violated copyright law, not even technically. Now, if you were to begin distributing those copies it's a different matter.

          In fact, it might increase sales as I'll be more likely to watch DVD movies I buy and not just regard them as wasted cash.

          Ha .. if these little bloodsuckers could get away selling you a disc that would play exactly once and then self-destruct Mission Impossible-style, believe me they would do it. They want you to consider your media a consumable, not a collectible.

          • by closetpsycho ( 1175221 ) on Friday March 05, 2010 @10:13AM (#31370482)
            I'm not a lawyer either, but you're right. He hasn't violated copyright law. He has violated the DMCA's anti-circumvention clause though.
            • by butlerm ( 3112 ) on Friday March 05, 2010 @11:10AM (#31371148)

              If all he did was make a copy of a DVD, I beg to differ. DMCA Section 1201:

              (a) Violations Regarding Circumvention of Technological Measures. -- (1)(A) No person shall circumvent a technological measure that effectively controls access to a work protected under this title. ...
              (c) Other Rights, Etc., Not Affected. -- (1) Nothing in this section shall affect rights, remedies, limitations, or defenses to copyright infringement, including fair use, under this title.

              • by ixidor ( 996844 ) on Friday March 05, 2010 @11:46AM (#31371594) Homepage
                except, with those 2 at odds, and the riaa/mpaa with buckets more money than you or i,who do you think would survive the court case? it would drag on for years if you could afford that.
              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                So? This says that you can still claim fair use as a defense to copyright infringement. But circumventing DRM isn't a copyright infringement...

                • The DMCA anti-circumvention provisions are part of copyright law, so circumvention by definition *is* copyright infringement.

                  However, AFAICT the courts have never found any defendant to be not guilty as a result of the "Other Rights, Etc., Not Affected" clause.

                  • The DMCA anti-circumvention provisions are part of copyright law, so circumvention by definition *is* copyright infringement.

                    I think you need a legal reference for that, because I do not see how one follows from another. Is "copyright law" even a legal term?

                    I think that "copyright infringement" is stringently defined somewhere in those laws. You're correct only if that definition does include circumvention. I very much doubt that, because, by definition of copyright, you can only infringe it by making a copy.

                    Otherwise, it may well be a crime under those laws, but the act wouldn't be called "copyright infringement".

                • by butlerm ( 3112 )

                  There is a general rule of statutory construction that says a statute must be interpreted so as not to make it meaningless. In this case, if circumventing access to a protected work for the purpose of making a copy doesn't count as "copyright infringment", Section 1201(c) would appear to be meaningless.

                  If Congress wanted to say that fair use is _not_ a defense to circumvention for the purpose of making a copy, that is presumably what they would have said. Instead they said something that appears to be the

                • by butlerm ( 3112 )

                  Judge Patel, in an August 2009 memorandum and order [jdsupra.com] in the Universal. vs RealNetworks cases, states that fair use _is_ a defense to certain provisions of the DMCA, albeit not to the part that prohibits trafficking in anti-circumvention devices:

                  115. The Studios contend that fair use is never a defense to DMCA liability. This is the truth, but not the whole truth. Fair use is not a defense to trafficking in products used to circumvent effective technological measures that prevent unauthorized access to, or un

        • by L4t3r4lu5 ( 1216702 ) on Friday March 05, 2010 @10:00AM (#31370334)

          I don't consider this a violation because a) I'm just place/format shifting

          FILTHY PIRATE!

          You should purchase one copy for each medium you want to view the media with! And another when you can't use it through wear and tear! AND AGAIN WHEN THE VIEWING DEVICE BREAKS!

          *Wanders off to find more bolivian marching powder / ladies of questionable morality.

        • Until you posted this in public, what you did in your own home was your own business - much like people who smoke certain illegal plants, have sex out of wedlock, etc. All those things are illegal, but your right to privacy trumps any need to investigate.

          Now, if you start sharing some of those illegal plants, or giving away copies of your recordings, or doing other things publicly, (even bragging about doing them publicly can be a problem), then you're inviting the man in your door. People are so amaze
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by plague3106 ( 71849 )

            In no location in the US is sex out of wedlock illegal.

            • It was in Georgia when I was in High School, or was that sodomy? or bestiality? anyway, what you do in the privacy of your own home, I do not want to hear about.
            • by bjk002 ( 757977 )

              Well how could it be? Sex in wedlock is non-existent!

            • by AK Marc ( 707885 )
              There were laws against adultery that included all extra-marital sex. They have been overturned or repealed, but they did exist in at least a few places in the US until the recent sodomy case.
          • Technically speaking, I have the right to rip my own DVDs. I just don't have the right to have the tools to rip my own DVDs. (Is that insanely confusing? Yes, yes it is.) As far as being public about it, I don't go around bragging about it to tons of people (these Slashdot posts notwithstanding). Notice I didn't even say what tools I used because I don't want anyone claiming that I'm "incenting people to break copyright" or some such by advertising tools to rip DVDs.

            I just said what I do and I'm not sh

        • The problem is that by "movie studio" or "distributor" standards you -are- causing them lost sales.

          They want you to buy a digital copy for your CinemaTube. A digital copy that costs them almost nothing to make but would cost you about the same as a DVD.

          That is one of the reasons they want to ban any kind of ripping. They want us all to buy the content twice or more.

          Fuck em is all I can say to that. Physical media is going to die eventually and when it does I hope we have some sort of solution or market coll

          • True. Although were DVD ripping not an option, I'd have just put up with the DVDs I had already bought, wouldn't buy many more DVDs and would rely more on Netflix (both mail and online) as well as my local library's DVD collection. I actually won the CinemaTube so if it just sat there unused it wouldn't have cost me anything. Still, the ability to put my entire DVD collection on an external hard drive and play it on my TV is exactly what I've been looking for for years.

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by omglolbah ( 731566 )

              When I buy DVDs (which I do more than I should..) the only time the disc is ever touched is when I rip it to drive.

              I have a media server with 2.7TB of drive space and I hate fiddling with discs. I have scripts set up to rip and convert the movie to a high quality file with a more decent filesize than raw DVD.

              Using this setup I have a whole lot more flexibility when it comes to what I want to watch when... Oh and there is no annoying as hell buzzing from the dvdrom....

              The movie industry can, as so eloquently

    • by f0rk ( 1328921 )

      Well if you weren't to busy trying to be clever for a first post, you would have understood that its not about JUST RealDVD, but rather the fact that the hollywood studios managed to kill RealDVD on potential piracy grounds.

  • So that's ... (Score:2, Informative)

    by sfritsche ( 154480 )

    ... one less competitor for SlySoft [slysoft.com]. They must be partying on Antiqua.

    • "WoooHOOO, man, that is one awesome typeface, YEAH!!!"

      Or maybe you meant something else?

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antiqua [wikipedia.org]
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antigua [wikipedia.org]

    • SlySoft is screwed because RealNetwork isn't going to "sell" RealDVD anymore, they will most likely give it away for free.
      • SlySoft is screwed because RealNetwork isn't going to "sell" RealDVD anymore, they will most likely give it away for free.

        I doubt it matters. Slysoft's stuff is truly slick, and I don't think that Real offers anything like AnyDVD's shim driver for Windows.

        • by ixidor ( 996844 )
          the point was, that if realDVD goes away, not the mpaa will be looking for the next target with $$, ie. anydvd.
    • I'd also like to recommend DVDFab Platinum. It's very easy to use for the less tech-savvy and is kept up-to-date on a fairly consistent basis. You can do bit for bit copies, compress DVDs or convert the movie to a variety of file formats, with presets for AppleTV, Xbox 360, Nintendo DS, etc.

  • ...giving them away for free of charge. :-) SCNR
  • Please, no! (Score:5, Funny)

    by bcmm ( 768152 ) on Friday March 05, 2010 @09:34AM (#31370102)
    Please Slashdot, don't make me decide whether I hate Hollywood or RealNetworks more!
    • Re:Please, no! (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 05, 2010 @09:43AM (#31370170)

      You should really all be a little bit concerned. Most of you reading slashdot are ahead of the tech curve/average and you'll find a way to backup your DVD or acquire it by other means. The DMCA is way out of control and the fact that it is legal to make a copy of your DVD, but illegal to circumvent any copy protection scheme....well, it just doesn't make sense. That's like saying you are allowed to go swimming, but not allowed to get wet. We really should all get together and start to voice our displeasure to our elected representatives. I've seen the DMCA used to squash competitors for things like printer cartridges and garage door openers. It needs to be radically revised or corporations are going to continue to abuse it.

    • by mcgrew ( 92797 ) *

      There's no point in hating RealNetworks, just use a competetitor. Hollywood, otoh, is a cartel that works in lockstep -- a virtual multicompany monopoly. You should hate them until there are more people doing "Star Wreck" type endeavors.

      There's no reason to hate the RIAA, pity the poor fools instead. Their lunch is being eaten by the indies, and they blame "pirates" for their coming demise, trying to kill the indies' source of getting their music heard in the name of "piracy". All they're doing is hastening

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by bcmm ( 768152 )

        There's no point in hating RealNetworks, just use a competetitor

        I remember when all online video was RealVideo.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by mcgrew ( 92797 ) *

          So do I, and they sucked even worse then than they do now. Competetion is good for the consumers!

      • They're called "everything else you could do with your time other than reward philistine pig-headed execs who crank out noncreative garbage"
        I'm just sayin'

  • by Van Cutter Romney ( 973766 ) <sriram DOT venka ... geemail DOT com> on Friday March 05, 2010 @09:37AM (#31370122)
    I have to agree with Freedomworks [freedomworks.org] (the people who brought you teabaggers) on this. Foes can sometimes turn into friends while fighting a common enenmy.
  • by migloo ( 671559 ) on Friday March 05, 2010 @09:40AM (#31370148)
    Sue me now!
    • by allcar ( 1111567 )
      Careful.Hollywood will try to ban dd, next.
    • by loutr ( 626763 ) on Friday March 05, 2010 @09:50AM (#31370230)
      I wasn't aware dd implemented DeCSS.
      • I'm not totally sure, but wouldn't this create an iso file that happened to still be 'protected' by CSS? It's just pulling bits off the disc and putting them in a file, no need for DeCSS.

        • by loutr ( 626763 )
          As I say a couple of posts below, the purpose of CSS is to prevent you from copying the disk. If a simple dd invocation could allow you to copy the DVD and have it play on standard DVD players (which can decrypt CSS), there is no way it would have been chosen as the standard copy protection scheme. See TheThiefMaster's post [slashdot.org] below, I think he's right about how CSS works.
          • Where exactly on the disc is normally unreadable, and how does it suddenly gain the ability to read the disc there? Is it controlled by the firmware of the drive? Is there anything really preventing dd from accessing those segments?

            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by greed ( 112493 )

              Other way around; the key zone on the disc is readable by any player. But on consumer writable media, it is pre-burned with zeros.

              It is also part of the "meta information"; you can't see it with normal I/O commands like 'dd'. You'd have to have a device driver that implements a DVD-specific ioctl to retrieve the keys.

              Since .iso is a headerless format, you'd need a lookaside file to contain the metadata needed to make a virtual drive that lets you mount an encrypted .iso. Or use an image file format that

              • It is also part of the "meta information"; you can't see it with normal I/O commands like 'dd'. You'd have to have a device driver that implements a DVD-specific ioctl to retrieve the keys.

                Are you sure about this? Because I can create a disk image with dd on a Mac, mount it, and then play it back with Apple's DVD Player. If the CSS information isn't part of the image then where is the DVD player getting it from? If they're cracking the encryption then Apple is violating the license agreement from the DVD consortium.

                • by jo_ham ( 604554 )

                  Some drives work, some do not. The drive in my powerbook worked exactly like this, the one in my iMac which was from a different vendor (or was just a different generation) would choke on such an action since even though I have flashed it to be RPC1 and can change the region code at will, any player (like VLC) that attempts to read the disk without using the CSS system fails. This includes handbrake attempting to just copy files off the disc.

                  I have to use Fairmount to act as a broker to enable rips with the

            • As I understand it, there's a part of the disc that drives don't present with standard block-device access commands. A licensed program handshakes directly with the device to receive the keys stored in that area.
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by Anonymous Coward

            No, CSS isn't to prevent you from copying the disk at all. You can quite easily copy a CSS protected disk, and the copy will still be encrypted of course, but it will play fine. (and Mplayer, VLC, etc. will break CSS in real time and play from an encrypted VOB/ISO/Physical Disc).

            The only reason some DVDs are hard to rip recently is because they have some *other* protection that *does* prevent you from copying them easily. Usually they have the sectors set up in an odd way, so that if you try to play the

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      They might be able to get you on copyright claims; but nothing DMCA related, since the DVD image you create will still have CSS fully intact(analogous to the old days, pre deCSS, where pirates simply produced cloned disks, which worked just fine because all consumer DVD players were designed to work with encrypted disks).

      Still a useful technique in some cases. Because there is no re-encoding done, the CPU load of doing a rip that way(on any machine not stuck in PIO) is virtually nil, and the speed is lim
      • I did not know that it would keep the CSS intact and still be a fully usable ISO. I have every reason to use this method. I don't care about sharing. I don't need separate files or anything, just the iso. Mount it and play it.
        • With the better behaved media players(and even a surprising number of the standalone embedded media-player boxes for sale these days) you don't even need to mount. Just point at the .iso and, a few momenents later, up pops the DVD menu, exactly as if the disk had just been inserted.

          If your media player of choice doesn't play that way, or you just feel like it, there is of course nothing stopping you from mounting the image and playing from the resulting virtual drive.
      • by loutr ( 626763 )
        Do you have any source to back up these claims ? They seem highly dubious to me. If you can copy the DVD to your HD this way, what would stop you from burning the ISO to a DVD-R ?And in this case, what would be the point of CSS if you could copy the disk using a standard unix command and an ISO-burning utility ?
        • It works fine for any player that breaks CSS, like VLC. But for a licensed player you need the disc keys, which don't get ripped by dd. So burning to a DVD-R becomes a little pointless unless you decrypt it first.
        • It will work, but you need to by authoring DVD-R's. Unlike the consumer DVD-Rs, these don't have the CSS region pre-burnt. They are intended for producing masters for sending off for duplication. They are also a lot more expensive than the consumer ones. Some burners may also refuse to write the CSS track.

          I copied DVDs to my hard drive a lot with my old PowerBook using this technique. The drive generated a lot of heat, so watching them from disk images was a lot more convenient. Apple's DVD Player

    • by funkatron ( 912521 ) on Friday March 05, 2010 @09:58AM (#31370300)
      Hollywood cant sue you. You are a human and are therefore unrecognised as any form of legal entity.
      • oh he is a legal entity, but just like george orwel's animal farm where two legs went from 'bad' to 'better'. the mpaa/riaa has now legally 'more free' speech then he does, and thus has become a 'better' legal entity then a normal person.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Spykk ( 823586 )
      That will still be encrypted. You should try something like dd if=/dev/dvd | emacs --decrypt-dvd --pop-popcorn --dim-lights > dvd.mkv
  • Shit! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Friday March 05, 2010 @09:42AM (#31370162) Journal
    Now I'll have to go back to using Handbrake again, and miss out on RealDVD's actually-pretty-onerous-and-studio-friendly DRM features. I'm not sure how I'll manage using a free program that produces fully unencumbered versions after using quality commercial software from a trusted name like Real.

    Seriously, though, what did they hope to accomplish by slapping Real down? Our Antiguan buddies at Slysoft are still up to their nefarious tricks, so it isn't as though smacking Real did much damage to the market for commercial DVD ripping products; and libdvdcss, VLC, et al. are still doing their thing and not at all hard to find on the OSS side.

    So far as I can see, the moral of the story here is that if you try to offer a product that pleases customers while playing nice with studios(as Real did by offering ripping; but imposing restrictions on the rips) the studios will gut you and spit on your corpse; but if you just brazenly violate the restrictions, they'll be powerless to stop you. I'm pretty sure that that isn't the message that they really want to send.
    • Re:Shit! (Score:4, Insightful)

      by MoonBuggy ( 611105 ) on Friday March 05, 2010 @10:01AM (#31370340) Journal

      Easy to use as it is, Handbrake is still a 'geek market' product. Hollywood knows we're already lost causes in the PR battle, that we know our fair use rights better than most, and that for every OSS program they try to shut down two more will spring up in its place. Not only that, Handbrake has no US presence (AFAIK) and even if it did I can see the EFF (who are experts in precisely this kind of field, and who fight on principle rather than just profit) stepping up to the plate if they did get sued, leading to a potentially messy and drawn out case and PR war for little to no benefit.

      RealNetworks, on the other hand, has some (although probably small) measure of brand recognition among the general public. They care about profit and are quite happy to throw the case to the other side if it looks like it'll be the cheapest option. Net result: the entertainment industry gets to put out headlines saying "American company told to stop selling all that nasty illegal DVD copying software", and the general public takes home the message that "DVD copying is illegal". Seems like a fairly deft PR move to me, at least within the context of the Hollywood studio mindset.

      • by Winckle ( 870180 )

        On Mac at least it's hardly geeky at all. I showed my Dad how to use it and he rips things just fine using the pre-sets.

        • by jedidiah ( 1196 )

          Lately, certain people seem intent on redefining what "geeky" is.

          Running a program and clicking on a few buttons is not "geeky" by any stretch of the imagination.

          Having custom mencoder or ffmpeg commands you put in your own bash script is geeky.

      • >Easy to use as it is, Handbrake is still a 'geek market' product.

        Well, its like VLC. Its non-commercial and hosted all over the world. RealDVD is a commercial product created by an American company. I think eventually all OSS projects that deal with video will be hosted in France.

      • Re:Shit! (Score:4, Interesting)

        by celtic_hackr ( 579828 ) on Friday March 05, 2010 @11:42AM (#31371552) Journal

        I know plenty of barely literate Windows users using Windows ripping tools, with equal ease as geeks with their geeky ones. The Studios have already lost, because they have the same faulty perception as you do. It's not just geeks; it's 16 year old cheerleaders, and 50 year business owners, and the old lady down the street. I even know a few old ladies running Linux desktops (why because when you're retired you have limited income, and Linux is God Damn cheap). It's all over except the shouting, but the Studios are too busy shouting to hear the silence from the other side.

        I almost feel sorry for them.

    • 4.5 million reasons - Real had the audacity to operate inside a jurisdiction that allows looting of profits in exchange for violations of the copyright law, their choice, their loss. I'm curious how the whole picture with Real's finances looks, was $4.5M just a share of their profits, or is it a smackdown bankruptcy verdict that will never get paid in full?
  • Yet another trampling of fair use rights in the US. How long does the entertainment industry continue to get away with this? Seems like nobody can (will?) stop them doing anything they want.

  • I understand that DVDs include encryption, so programs like DeCSS are needed to extract watchable video from a DVD. But what is the technical problem keeping people from just copying DVDs to writable media to make copies? Is there some technical issue about the formatting of a video DVD that keeps normal copying software from copying DVDs on a block by block basis? And if there is, how did Real get past any limitations of consumer grade writers?
  • Does anyone know that has RealDVD, if this software which has stopped being sold or maintained since 2008/9 still works
    with todays new dvds (and encryptions). The reason why I ask, is if the way it copies is what is the most dangerous about this software
    because no matter how you encrypt it the dvd will always be able to be copied, then I gotta get me one of those....

    • by fredjh ( 1602699 )

      If they changed the encryption, then new discs wouldn't play on older players... and by "older," we'd be talking about only a year or two old.

      So... no, I don't think that's a problem.

  • For years OS X users have been duplication CDs and DVDs using Disk Utility on their Macs. Just make a disk image of the item then burn that disk image to a CD-R or DVD-R. You might have issues with DL disks. +R media works on some/many system too. Guess this means Apple will get sued next.
    • Apple's disk utility doesn't circumvent the Content Scramble System [wikipedia.org] on commercial DVDs, so if you make a straight copy it won't play- you need to remove the CSS to have a working image that you can use on the PC or burn to a new DVD.

      That is why Real got sued.
  • Geek.com has a somewhat-related article up today about why people pirate DVDs: http://www.geek.com/articles/gadgets/why-people-pirate-movies-20100219/ [geek.com]

    Now I've never pirated a DVD* and wouldn't recommend it, but I sympathize with the reasoning. Those preview screens are awful. Especially the unskippable ones on Sesame Street DVDs that tell you how much good money given to Sesame Workshop does. Hello? I bought the DVD and my kid just wants to see Ernie, Grover and crew. He doesn't care that "kids around

    • Sadly, I know just what you are talking about when you reference the Sesame Workshop ads. What has become of my life?

This login session: $13.76, but for you $11.88.