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10/9/2008
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RealDVD Sales Halted On Judge's Order, Copyright Suit Pending

Judge Marilyn Hall Patel has granted the MPAA's request to suspend sales of the DVD-copying software.

A judge has ordered RealNetworks to stop sales of its DVD-copying software.

The order, issued Tuesday, comes as RealNetworks and the Motion Picture Association of America sue each other. The MPAA sued RealNetworks in the U.S. District Court of Northern California, claiming that the software, RealDVD, violates the Digital Millennium Copyright Act by allowing people to copy movies onto their PC hard drives.

RealNetworks countersued MPAA members Disney, Paramount, Sony, Viacom, 20th Century Fox, NBC, and Warner Bros., and the DVD Copy Control Association. RealNetworks claims that its software is permissible under a license it holds through the DVD Copy Control Association.

The association claims that RealNetworks Home Entertainment software violates the license.

RealNetworks' DVD copying software went on sale less than two weeks ago. It allows users to copy movies onto their PCs but it blocks them from sharing the files.

A similar lawsuit against Kaleidescape is on appeal after a California court ruled in 2007 that it was legal for Kaleidescape to allow users to store copies of DVDs and CDs on PCs for convenient viewing.

RealNetworks has used the ruling in its arguments against the MPAA members.

"We are confident that the court will determine that RealDVD complies with the DVD CCA license agreement and that it is not in violation of any copyright laws," the company stated on its Web site.

Last week, Judge Marilyn Hall Patel granted the MPAA's request to suspend sales of the DVD-copying software, for now. She extended the ban Tuesday. The judge will call a hearing to determine whether to make the order permanent.

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