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RealNetworks launches pre-emptive lawsuit against movie studios

Say you're a major multimedia software company and you've just released a product that you absolutely know is going to tick off copyright holders, like say, major movie studios. You could wait around and for someone to file a lawsuit saying that your software, like say, a DVD ripper, violates their copyrights. Or you could try to resolve the issue before it gets to that point and file your own pre-emptive lawsuit. And that's exactly what RealNetworks has done.

A few weeks ago the company announced a public beta of RealDVD, an application that lets you make backups of your DVDs for viewing on a PC. Unlike free alternatives including DVD Decrypter and Handbrake, RealDVD utilizes Digital Rights Management so that you can only watch your video on a single PC. That move was likely intended to help make the software lawsuit-proof.

Today RealNetworks officially launched the commercial version of RealDVD, which costs about $50 (although there's a limited time $20 off deal, so you can pick it up for $30 today). And the company has also asked a federal court to rule that RealDVD is legal since it copies an entire DVD to a hard drive, including the CSS encryption that prevents users from making unauthorized copies. In other words, sure, you can backup your DVDs with RealDVD, but you won't easily be able to rip a DVD and post it on the internet for anyone else to download.

Love DRM or hate it, (wait, does anybody actually love DRM), the argument does make sense. And it could make RealDVD the first DVD backup solution to hold up in court. You know, if RealNetworks wins.

[via paidContent]

Tags: backup, css, dvd-backup, realdvd, realnetworks