M+E Daily

RealNetworks Drops Fight To Market DVD Copying Software

RealNetworks is giving up on its RealDVD copying software in a settlement of more than a year’s worth of litigation with the six major Hollywood movie studios, Viacom Inc., and the DVD Copy Control Association.

The company said it has agreed to a permanent injunction against its marketing of RealDVD or any similar product, adding that it would pay studios $4.5 million in legal costs and fees.

Real said it would turn off the metadata service that provides DVD cover art and movie information to RealDVD users, and refund the purchase price to the software’s 2,700 customers.

The settlement is the latest step in Real’s restructuring effort. Rob Glaser, the company’s founder and longtime CEO, stepped down in January. In February, Real and Viacom’s MTV Networks announced their intention to spin off the Rhapsody streaming music service into its own company.

“We are pleased to put this litigation behind us,” says Bob Kimball, president and acting CEO. “This is another step toward fulfilling our commitment to simplify our company and focus on our core businesses.”

The injunction is another notch in the belt of the , which licenses DVD’s encryption technology. “After months of arguments from both sides, the legal message is clear: making a DVD copier is a breach of the CSS license,” says DVD CCA president Jacob Pak.