RealNetwork Pulls DVD-Copying Software Off Shelves

RealNetworks Inc. said Monday it had temporarily stopped distributing its DVD copying software, RealDVD, at a federal judge's request in a copyright case brought by Hollywood studios.

"We temporarily suspended distribution of the product until tomorrow," said Seattle-based RealNetworks' spokesman Ryan Luckin.

The site, made inactive Friday, now tells visitors: "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."

U.S. District Court Judge Marilyn Hall Patel is scheduled to take up the case Tuesday at 2 p.m. in San Francisco.

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Six major movie studios jointly sued the company Sept. 30, the day the software launched. They claim RealDVD illegally bypasses the copyright protection built into DVDs.

The studios asked the court for a restraining order, saying the software allows consumers to "rent, rip and return" movies and copy friends' DVD collections — instead of buying legitimate downloads or DVD copies.

The Motion Picture Association of America was prohibited from commenting on the case, said spokesman Seth Oster.

The studios that sued are Viacom Inc.'s Paramount Pictures, Sony Corp.'s Sony Pictures, News Corp.'s Twentieth Century Fox, General Electric Co.'s Universal, The Walt Disney Co.'s Disney studio and Time Warner Inc.'s Warner Bros.