By Harry McCracken | Saturday, October 4, 2008 at 9:59 pm
Why is the woman in the above image from RealNetworks RealDVD site smiling? You’d think she’d look just a tad glum given that the software, launched just last week, has been pulled off the market. According to NewTeeVee, a court has told Real to stop distributing the company’s DVD copying software until Tuesday while it reviews the case. That’s the latest development in the legal tussle that has Real suing Hollywood, Hollywood suing Real, and most consumers, I suspect, rooting for Real–except for those who think that the company is a bad guy itself for selling software that not only preserves DVD’s encryption on the copies it makes but adds additional DRM.
I sure hope that Real prevails, and quickly; RealDVD is a small but real positive development for consumers who want to get more out of media they’ve paid for, and it doesn’t let anyone put copies on BitTorrent or otherwise engage in mass piracy. If even its limited functionality is forbidden or stuck in legal limbo, it’s going to be really depressing.
I’m not a lawyer, though, so I’m not going to make any predictions about RealDVD’s fate. You’d think that Real wouldn’t have gone to the expense and bother of developing it if it wasn’t reasonably confident that it could sell the darn application, but perhaps it gambled and gambled badly. (I do regret declaring that the software was “clearly legal” in my review: I was…clearly wrong. Or at least not clearly right.)
Oh, and Technologizer gave away ten license codes for RealDVD yesterday to members of our community, so I’m rooting for the current RealDVD takedown to indeed end on Tuesday so those winners can make use of their codes.