John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

Rent. Rip. Restraining Order.

The legal broadside Hollywood lobbed at RealNetworks (RNWK) last week has upset the company’s carefully prepared plans to offer a mainstream means of legally copying DVDs. A judge has issued a temporary ban on sales of Real’s RealDVD software in the wake of a lawsuit brought against it by the Motion Picture Association of America. Point your browser at the RealDVD site today and you’ll be greeted with the following message:

Due to recent legal action taken by the Hollywood movie studios against us, RealDVD is temporarily unavailable. Rest assured, we will continue to work diligently to provide you with software that allows you to make a legal copy of your DVDs for your own use.”

Good luck with that, folks.

As I’ve noted here before, RealDVD is a nice idea–a $30 software program that easily copies entire DVDs, right down to the menus, bonus features and cover art. And it does so in an ostensibly legal way. What it doesn’t do, though, is prohibit users from ripping DVDs that they rent. Effectively, users are on the honor system, which isn’t exactly a Hollywood-approved DRM scheme.