RealDVD creators, Realnetworks, is making headlines again during the trial over DVD copying software. The MPAA has been accused by Realnetworks of being a “price-fixing cartel”. All this during what has already been a very long trial where the MPAA wishes to prevent the DVD copying software from being sold in the United States.
There is a rather in-depth look at Wired’s Threat Level regarding this latest revelation during the trial. The MPAA has already issued a ban on the sale of RealDVD pending the trial because they claim that it circumvents the CSS coding within the DVD, and thus, violates the DMCA. Realnetworks has already defended that the CSS is not broken because the CSS is copied with the DVD.
As David Kravets, the reporter who’s been following the trial notes, accusations of anti-trust activity has been attempted before, but has failed to gain any leeway (ala Napster case). An EFF attorney seems to have taken a sort of wait and see approach given the comment questions whether or not the court will agree with Realnetworks on the anti-trust accusation.
One has to admit, the accusation isn’t completely groundless given that if one were to remove all the members of the MPAA out of the movie-making market, how much of Hollywood and the entire US movie industry would be left short of a collection of small independent studios? Having said that, the legal battle isn’t going to be easy from Realnetworks as the article discusses at length.
Right now, it seems that the MPAA legal team has to study what the accusations are based on before they can respond, but they seem confident that there isn’t any grounds for Real to make such accusations.
The RealDVD trial started on April 24th. Already, the MPAA said that RealDVD could be software that enables piracy via rent, rip and return practises. Additionally, the MPAA has accused RealNetworks of destroying evidence. Realnetworks have already said that RealDVD is not for pirates. Clearly a case where big punches are being thrown between the two entities.
Source: MPAA Sucks