At Last, the RealDVD Trial Begins

The trial in the case of RealNetworks' RealDVD product has finally begun. When it was first introduced we knew it was going to face legal challenges, and it only took about a month for a temporary restraining order to be put in place.

Real Networks has maintained that its RealDVD software is legal, and that it not only maintains the original DVD DRM, but adds another layer. The use of the software is for archival images of DVDs, they claim.

Real Networks is relying on the Kaleidescape decision, which stated that there is nothing in the DVD Copy Control Association (DVD CCA) licensing agreement that prohibits the development of products that allow users to copy their DVDs.

In fact, it's easy to find software (e.g. AnyDVD, DVDFab) that will not only make a copy, but remove DRM as well. Of course, those companies are based on parts of the world where the MPAA can't reach them.

The MPAA and DVD Copy Control Association (DVD-CCA) managed to score one win already on Friday: they managed to convince Judge Marilyn Patel, who also presided over the Napster trial, to seal the courtroom. The MPAA and DVD_CCA argued that confidential information might be disclosed during testimony about DVD-encryption technology.

Obviously, still more to come.