John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

Rent. Rip. R.I.P.: RealDVD Takes a Dirt Nap and RealNetworks Ordered to Pay Hollywood $4.5 Million

The Motion Picture Association of America has finally, and permanently, dispatched RealNetworks’s “legal” DVD ripper, RealDVD. On Wednesday afternoon, U.S. District Judge Marilyn Hall Patel, who in January dismissed Real’s antitrust claims against Hollywood, really dropped the hammer on the company. She issued a permanent injunction barring it from manufacturing or trafficking in RealDVD and ordered RealNetworks (RNWK) to pay the studios $4.5 million to reimburse them for costs incurred litigating against it.

In the end, it seems the software that former RealNetworks CEO Robert Glaser described as a “compelling and very responsible product that gives consumers a way to do something they have always wanted to do” was neither.

“We are gratified by the successful conclusion of this important matter,” MPAA General Counsel Daniel Mandil said in a statement. “Judge Patel’s rulings and this settlement affirm what we have said from the very start of this litigation: It is illegal to bypass the copyright protections built into DVDs designed to protect movies against theft. We will continue to vigorously pursue companies that attempt to bring these illegal circumvention products and devices to market.”

Below, a copy of Patel’s order:

RealDVD CourtOrder


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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work