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The Courts Government Media News Entertainment

RealNetworks, Film Industry Headed To Court 173

Posted by timothy
from the in-your-face-film-industry dept.
netbuzz writes "Apparently tired of waiting to be sued by the movie studios over its new DVD-to-PC copying software, RealNetworks this morning announced it will file a preemptive lawsuit in an attempt to authoritatively establish that the product does not infringe on copyright restrictions. Within an hour or so, the Motion Picture Association of America said it would have a litigation announcement of its own this afternoon."
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RealNetworks, Film Industry Headed To Court

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 30, 2008 @11:42AM (#25206127)

    RealNetworks is saying "Hey look at me everyone! Why doesn't anyone ever notice me?"

    • by lysergic.acid (845423) on Tuesday September 30, 2008 @11:58AM (#25206335) Homepage

      does RealNetworks' DVD copying software _charge users $20_ for burning DVDs playable on multiple computers (still limited to a maximum of 5)?

      how can they purport to be a champion of consumer rights/fair use when they're charging users to burn copies of their own DVDs and restricting users from playing these copies from more than 5 computers?

      and who exactly are users paying the $20 to for being able to play their copies on more than one computer if not the MPAA or film makers? they actually have the galls to charge users for an additional license fee on works that they don't hold the rights to, and then they're turning around and saying that they're defending fair use rights? what a load of BS.

      consumers should be allowed to make backups of their purchases without DRM and usage restrictions. they shouldn't have to pay for the right to make DVD copies that are playable on multiple computers, much less pay RealNetworks for that right.

      • by clang_jangle (975789) * on Tuesday September 30, 2008 @12:13PM (#25206553) Journal
        But judgements set precedents. So maybe this particular battle is just theatre, i.e. MPAA sets up Real to "oppose" them in a non-meaningful and indefensible manner, MPAA wins judgement which sets far-reaching precedent that takes away more consumer Fair Use rights. As evil as Real Networks has historically been, it certainly wouldn't be shocking.
      • does RealNetworks' DVD copying software _charge users $20_ for burning DVDs playable on multiple computers (still limited to a maximum of 5)?

        The only DVDs worth burning are those that play in your plain vanilla DVD player sitting on the shelf below your television, or in your portable player. To call anything else DVD movie burning is a misstatement of the facts!

    • RealNetworks is saying "Hey look at me everyone! Why doesn't anyone ever notice me?"

      Yes, they're saying to the people that'll spend ridiculous amounts of money fighting them in court "Look at me!" Attention whores.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Who the hell uses RealPlayer for anything these days, besides those that don't know any better? (the same people that have 10 toolbars installed on their browser)

  • by dilvish_the_damned (167205) on Tuesday September 30, 2008 @11:43AM (#25206133) Journal

    Because well, it just is. At least for me.

    • by Mateo_LeFou (859634) on Tuesday September 30, 2008 @02:27PM (#25208325) Homepage

      I bet you didn't know that, ahem ..

      "The worldwide motion picture industry, including foreign and domestic producers,
      distributors, theaters, video stores and pay-per-view operators lose more than $18 billion
      annually as a result of movie theft. More than $7 billion in losses are attributed to illegal
      Internet distributions, while $11 billion is the result of illegal copying and bootlegging."

      http://www.mpaa.org/press_releases/realdvd%20press%20release%209%2030%2008%20final.pdf [mpaa.org]

      • by gnick (1211984)

        I'm going to assume (hopefully safely) that you're not actually agreeing with the MPAA claim and just posting the $18B number to be funny (it worked). Otherwise, let me be the millionth person to cry out, "1 Download != 1 Lost sale".

        My favorite part of that press release:

        "RealNetworks' RealDVD should be called StealDVD," explained Greg Goeckner,
        Executive Vice President and General Counsel for the Motion Picture Association of
        America (MPAA).

        StealDVD. Huh huh...

        • by Tetsujin (103070)

          My favorite part of that press release:

          "RealNetworks' RealDVD should be called StealDVD,"

          Oh yeah? Well my lawyers can beat up your lawyers! Yo' momma has weak access restrictions too!

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by cyclomedia (882859)

          I too can see a glaring error in this: The idea that if someone watched or listend to a piece of MAFIAA media without paying it equates to a lost sale. I, for example, watched Spiderman 3 without spending a cent. Did I sneak into a cinema? or watch a Camcorder bootleg? Or watch a ripped DVD? Or download it via P2P? No, none of those things, I went to my brothers house and watched his Blu-ray copy on his PS3 via his HD TV. So not only did the MAFIAA media cartel lose a film sale, Sony lost out on a PS3 sale,

      • by Pitr (33016)

        Does no one understand the difference between "lose" and "didn't make". Companies rarely "lose" money, they just make less than they expected and count "lost revenue" as loss. "We think we should have made more money than we did, so we'll write off the difference as a loss."

  • by Hal_Porter (817932) on Tuesday September 30, 2008 @11:43AM (#25206143)

    vs the MPAA.

    Nope, I give up. I can't decide which I want to lose.

    • by dkleinsc (563838) on Tuesday September 30, 2008 @11:47AM (#25206189) Homepage

      If we're really lucky, they both will spend exorbitant amounts of money litigating, and then the judge will award $1 to the plaintiff.

    • by the_humeister (922869) on Tuesday September 30, 2008 @11:48AM (#25206203)

      You want Real Networks to win. If they win, everyone (but the MPAA) wins. If the MPAA wins, everyone else loses.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Sloppy (14984)

        If they win, everyone (but the MPAA) wins.

        Actually, the MPAA wins too. They just don't understand it yet. The better your product works, the more valuable it is and the more of it you'll sell.

        It is in the MPAA's direct financial interest that as many people as possible, defeats the MPAA's DRM ASAP.

        • It is in the MPAA's direct financial interest that as many people as possible, defeats the MPAA's DRM ASAP.

          FYI, the FBI's TGIF is BYOB, OK? LOL, BRB.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      It's like asking, "Would you rather be kicked in the nuts or punched in the face?"
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Amouth (879122)

        you ever been kicked in the nuts? even by accident? i'll take a bat the face before i experience that again

        • by Tetsujin (103070)

          you ever been kicked in the nuts? even by accident? i'll take a bat the face before i experience that again

          Mr. Wayne will be pleased to hear that. He enjoyed the last time.

    • by Kjella (173770)

      Can't have have a matter/anti-matter explosion or something, wiping them both out? But as a good number two, I'd rather have RealNetworks win this one since I still wouldn't buy anything from them.

    • I'm actually rooting for Real...I've become everything I've ever hated!!!!!
    • by R2.0 (532027) on Tuesday September 30, 2008 @11:59AM (#25206351)

      There's a quote from Henry Kissinger regarding the Iran-Iraq War that is apropos: "The only problem with this war is that only one side can lose."

    • Nope, I give up. I can't decide which I want to lose.

      For me it's easy: I want the MPAA to be bitchslapped. As much as I hate Realplayer, I hate the MPAA 50 times more.

    • by Abreu (173023)

      I'd like Real Networks to win, establishing useful precedents for the rest of us, but ending up bankrupt in the process...

  • by Pig Hogger (10379) <pig.hogger@g[ ]l.com ['mai' in gap]> on Tuesday September 30, 2008 @11:44AM (#25206151) Journal

    Ah! Lawyers...

    Always trying to make trouble when there is none yet...

  • Whuh? (Score:5, Informative)

    by David Gerard (12369) <slashdotNO@SPAMdavidgerard.co.uk> on Tuesday September 30, 2008 @11:44AM (#25206153) Homepage

    When did Real become non-evil?

    (RealPlayer for Linux is actually a really good media player. Works well, plays everything, none of the quasi-spyware behaviour it was famous for on Windows. CULTURE SHOCK!)

    • by sgant (178166)

      Not sure I understand what they're doing. They're not being sued by anyone so they're going to court to sue to make sure no one sues them?

      LOL, WUT?

      • by compro01 (777531)

        They're getting tired of the legal threat hanging over their heads, so they're starting the fight on their own terms.

      • Re:Whuh? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Skye16 (685048) on Tuesday September 30, 2008 @12:12PM (#25206533)

        I've heard of it before. It has to do when someone is threatening you with a lawsuit, but not following through. Rather than let that threat of a lawsuit affect your stock price, allowing the fear of it to affect your strategery, etc, it's best to just demand the court's rule and get it over with.

        Essentially, it's calling in a game of poker. Only rather than letting the cards do the talking, you're letting the judge settle it.

      • by Xtifr (1323) on Tuesday September 30, 2008 @01:04PM (#25207269) Homepage

        When SCO was going around saying they were going to sue Linux users for vague, unspecified "IP" claims, Red Hat preemptively sued SCO, telling them, essentially, to put-up-or-shut-up about their claims.

        http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=169 [groklaw.net] (from 2003).

      • by Zordak (123132)
        It's called declaratory judgment, and it's done all the time, for lots of reasons. For example, if i sue on DJ, I get to pick the venue instead of the other guy.
    • It's sort of a "The enemy of my enemy is my friend" kind of non-evil.
    • by British (51765)

      (RealPlayer for Linux is actually a really good media player. Works well, plays everything, none of the quasi-spyware behaviour it was famous for on Windows. CULTURE SHOCK!)

      Perhaps the developers of RealNetworks haven't yet figured out how to incorporate spyware, etc, and 200 other annoyances into Linux yet.

      All lawsuits aside, RealNetworks is a company that has a horrible product that hasn't kept up with the rest of the world. The only innovations they have done are negative ones, such as bundling excess ju

      • I installed the Linux realplayer to listen to BBC. I'm still surprised by how usable and well-behaved it is. (It's their open-sourced Helix player with their proprietary codec added.)

    • by X0563511 (793323)

      Can't say I've ever used Helix. Nor that I ever will. Mplayer and VLC do everything I need, so I don't need some company's trash.

    • by thermian (1267986) on Tuesday September 30, 2008 @12:57PM (#25207165)

      I bought RealJukebox and really liked it. The license said I had access to upgrades for the lifetime of the product. This purchase included the full version of RealPlayer too, with no adverts.

      Then they changed the license terms within months (at the time they introduced OnePlayer) and said I had to repurchase at full price if I wanted to upgrade to OnePlayer. Oh, and they discontinued RealJukebox, and I wasn't allowed to update my copy of standalone realplayer either without paying the full licence fee again.

      I wouldn't have minded a small upgrade fee I guess, although I would have grumbled, but I paid a fair bit for my original licence, and I was pissed off that it got junked so fast.

      The chances of my paying for or using a RealNetworks product again are pretty much nonexistant.

      • I used realjukebox back in the day too. I think it came with a CD burner. Anyway no spyware, no extra crap just the program. I ripped all my CDs to MP3 using it and everything worked fine. The files were all organized by artist/album/song on the hard drive.

        Then I got an Ipod. It imported the songs just fine. But it stripped out all the artist and song info. All the info was there in the realjukebox program but only unknown artist track 1 in itunes. I wound re-ripping most of the Cds to get teh info in itune

    • by gravis777 (123605)

      I like the codec well enough. I mean, it works for what it does. I mean, if you have buffering issues, either you do not have enough bandwidth, the server does not have enough bandwidth, or one of you just have a crappy ISP no matter how much bandwidth you have.

      On Windows, I use Real Alternative. Let's me play Real content in either Windows Media Player (gasp! something even worse than Real Player) or VLC (YAY!!!!).

      My question is, when did Real become evil? Was it when they decided they were going to take o

      • RealPlayer was famously the most obnoxious useful software on Windows in the 1990s. Getting rid of it was like clearing kudzu. After that, it's jawdropping that the Linux client is quite well-behaved.

  • Phew, I can't decide whether this should get tagged as "yee-hah" or "Giddeeup".

  • Real looks to be pulling a publicity stunt. I bet their original game play was to get the MPAA to sue them to attract attention to their terrible company to drive revenues up. The best response for the MPAA would be to ignore this with the expectation that nothing Real can do will save their company and to claim that there are individual pirates on the P2P networks who deserve more attention than Real's childishness.

    Also, preemptive lawsuit? WTF?

    • Re:Preemptive? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Xtifr (1323) on Tuesday September 30, 2008 @01:24PM (#25207539) Homepage

      Real looks to be pulling a publicity stunt.

      Possibly, or possibly they're trying to protect their own interests, much as Red Hat was when they preemptively sued SCO.

      to attract attention to their terrible company

      Ah yes, we all know that companies never change: IBM is still a hostile predator who refuses to acknowledge any software that wasn't developed in-house. They'd never in a million years consider supporting something as alien as Linux.

      The nineties called and want their whine back (as well as their stale "decade X called and wants its Y back" joke). :)

      I find it ironic when Windows users whine about Real (and in my experience, it's only Windows users that whine about Real). Everything they complain about in Real is among the reasons I stopped using ... er, actually, never really started using ... Windows. What's the difference between MS and Real? Real's main product is 90% open source, they actively support the community development efforts, their software has been bundled with Debian for years (at least, the 90% which meet the DFSG), they actively support Linux, and they seem to have made a massive effort to change their corporate culture since they hit rock-bottom in the early part of this decade (not unlike how IBM changed after bottoming out after the PS2 disaster). But some people can't forget the fact that they once saw an ad ten years ago, so Real will be evil forever. Dumbasses! :)

      • 1. Sometimes you just don't get a second chance to make a first impression. Cruel, maybe, but it just means that some of us have a working memory. If I put my finger into the flame once as a kid, I don't try it again. I don't go thinking, "well, maybe fire changed in the meantime." And if I got burned by a company once, maybe I won't give them a second chance either. Deal with it. They shouldn't have been dumbasses in the first place, if they can't take the consquences later.

        It's not just some discriminatio

  • Great! (Score:5, Informative)

    by TheSpoom (715771) * <slashdot@NOSpAM.uberm00.net> on Tuesday September 30, 2008 @11:54AM (#25206271) Homepage Journal

    *continues to use DVD Shrink [dvdshrink.org] for free anyway since it has no DRM*

    • DVD Shrink is nice for it's simplicity, but when you really want to rip a DVD without losing quality you must use DVD DeCrypter and IFO-Edit. They work great without any loss of quality.

      Good luck finding them, though. It's been a few years since I last saw them hosted in Finland (I think). If you didn't grab them a few years back I think you are SOL.

    • Re:Great! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by X0563511 (793323) on Tuesday September 30, 2008 @12:56PM (#25207157) Homepage Journal

      *continues to use mencoder [mplayerhq.hu] since it is maintained and community developed*

    • by Mitreya (579078)
      *continues to use DVD Shrink for free anyway since it has no DRM*

      You are missing the point of the lawsuit. You do know that DVDShrink is no longer being developed or hosted due to the legal threat to the authors? (DMCA or some such).

      I am assuming that if the lawsuit is successful, maybe DVDShrink authors will come out of the hiding?

  • Better be judged now when no big trouble has been found yet (so ruled not guilty) than later, when a really big problem/example could be found. If they pass the actual test, will be saved for all the future ones.
    • by Bryansix (761547)
      Double Jeopardy only applies in Criminal Cases. Copyright infringement is not criminal... yet.
  • by oahazmatt (868057) on Tuesday September 30, 2008 @11:58AM (#25206329) Journal
    Judge: This court finds in favor of the MPAA.
    Real: But... we sued them!
    Judge: Look, I understand you're a startup company...
    Real: We've been around forever!
    Judge: ---Really? Never heard of you. $10 million or 40,000 innocent souls to the MPAA, to be paid by Friday.
    • by russotto (537200)

      Judge: ---Really? Never heard of you. $10 million or 40,000 innocent souls to the MPAA, to be paid by Friday.

      Real: Oh, no problem, we can pay the souls out of petty cash. Um, are they still "innocent" if they were trying to watch porn when we "buffered" them?

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Starteck81 (917280)

      Judge: ---Really? Never heard of you. $10 million or 40,000 innocent souls to the MPAA, to be paid by Friday.

      10,000,000/40,000 = $250

      I was wondering what the market value of an innocent soul was these days.

      • 10,000,000/40,000 = $250

        I was wondering what the market value of an innocent soul was these days.

        Remember, this is dealing with intentional infringement of copyright, so those damages are likely treble.

    • by steelfood (895457)

      40,000 innocent souls

      So that's where suicide bombers are getting their virgins from...

  • You will not be hearing this from me again:

    Real, you're awesome. Good luck!

  • I took at look at RealNetworks' filing, but it didn't elicit much useful information:

    Plantiffs RealNetworks, Inc. (herein known as PlantiBUFFERING... 4%
  • The Deadly Courtroom (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Nom du Keyboard (633989) on Tuesday September 30, 2008 @12:10PM (#25206497)
    A courtroom is something most of us with even a modicum of common sense do our best to stay out of. There are no guarantees (well none except that the lawyers on both sides will get rich) of what can happen in there. To go all preemptive over this must mean that Real suspects that the MPAA themselves are not wanting to see this before a judge and Real feels they may have leverage. Heaven knows that the MPAA otherwise is hardly shy or retiring about filing suits of their own over imagined slights.
    • by Kjella (173770) on Tuesday September 30, 2008 @12:19PM (#25206649) Homepage

      I think it's more that if you're 100% sure you're going to be sued anyway, you might as well be the one to take this to court yourself. It makes your filing the first impression in the case, I'm not sure if it gives you advantages to what court will hear it but maybe, and it conveys a sense of "Yes, we know what we're doing and it's not illegal" as opposed to most that get sued are squirming a little over being dragged to court. I don't think they ever expected the MPAA not to sue.

      • There's also the effect on investors. A potential lawsuit hanging over a company can scare away investors, reduce the stock price, etc. So RealNetworks may be strategically bringing this issue to court. By doing so, they give the impression that they are going to win, which will calm investors.

        It may also be that for various reasons (e.g. cash flow, current stock trends...), management decided that right now would be the best time to deal with any potential court case. By preemptively going to court, they c

      • and it conveys a sense of "Yes, we know what we're doing and it's not illegal" as opposed to most that get sued are squirming a little over being dragged to court.

        So if I go to the store and buy something, should I just go straight to the police afterward and shout at the top of my lungs how I totally bught the thing and didn't steal it?

    • Maybe Real wants in on the MPAA pie, and is betting that they will settle out of court rather than possibly having a precident setting fair use case ruled against them.
  • Not Your Rights (Score:3, Interesting)

    by DynaSoar (714234) on Tuesday September 30, 2008 @12:17PM (#25206609) Journal

    This is not about "your rights". This is about lawyers making sure they and their counterparts are assured the driver's seat on this particular gravy train. There are plenty of other DVD copying programs out there being soundly ignored by MPAA and Real is already more reputable (in terms MPAA would accept) than the others. The only way the MPAA would be ready to reply same day with their own announcement is if they were already planning on doing so, and that requires knowing Real's intentions prior to their announcement. Much as I enjoy MPAA getting tweaked, I'm not going to credit Real with altruism when this amounts to nothing more than self-serving PR and income enhancement via docket padding.

  • I wouldn't have guesses that you could preemptively sue someone who could sue you. Makes me see Jack Thompson from a different light, maybe he was just having fun with the legal system.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by gnasher719 (869701)

      I wouldn't have guesses that you could preemptively sue someone who could sue you. Makes me see Jack Thompson from a different light, maybe he was just having fun with the legal system.

      That's for example what happened between Linux and SCO in Germany with excellent effect.

      SCO: We will sue all Linux users!
      Linux: Sue or shut up.
      Court: Sue or shut up. If you don't sue and repeat any claims, there will be a fine.
      SCO: Mostly shuts up; from time to time SCO Germany messes up, links to files of SCO US, pays a fine.

  • by dpbsmith (263124) on Tuesday September 30, 2008 @12:37PM (#25206889) Homepage

    Their motivation is commercial, but RealNetworks is nevertheless defending (some aspects of) fair use. What is very important is that RealNetworks is saying that content owners do not get to make the final determination of what is and is not fair use.

    The content owners have been overreaching on copyright by a large amount and for a long time now. I happen to think the current copyright law gives them far too much. But even saying "you only get to take what the law gives you and no more" would be an improvement on the present situation.

    Some nice action in the commercial marketplace to push the grabby MPAA back into the spacious terrain that's been staked out for them is a Good Thing.

    • RealNetworks is nevertheless defending (some aspects of) fair use.

      And what would that be? What, exactly, is the fair use being defended?

      Backup copies (which, by law, are permitted) are not fair use. "Backup copies" that you use to play the media are not backup copies to begin with--backups are archival only, to be used to replace media in the event of damage.

      In neither case is it Fair Use. People here have this really unfortunate habit of not understanding what fair use is and what it allows. Slashdot also has the even more unfortunate habit of presenting what they th

  • Ah, RealNetworks and MPAA, battling for years in court, spending tens or hundreds of million dollars.

    It does my heart good. It really does. I'd be hard pressed to come up with two groups who deserve each other more than them. In an ideal world, Real would win, leaving the MPAA dead on the floor. They'd stagger a few steps, and before getting a chance to celebrate their victory, drop dead themselves.

    In reality, it'll hopefully at least hurt them both a bit.

    • Ah, RealNetworks and MPAA, battling for years in court, spending tens or hundreds of million dollars.

      Well, the SCO lawsuits are pretty much dead now. We have to have *something* to fill the void! ^_^

  • by maz2331 (1104901) on Tuesday September 30, 2008 @01:24PM (#25207531)
    Cue South Park's portrayal of Johnnie Cochran and the Chewbacca defense in 5, 4, 3....

    Seriously though, all of these DRM schemes (Real, CSS itself, FairPlay, whatever) are attempts to tie the license to a copyrighted work to a specific device as opposed to a person . Therein lies the root of the entire problem.

    It's not so much how the content is encrpted or what it works with or doesn't. That's the big red herring in all of these arguments. The important question is "what do customers actually buy?"

    Are you buying a physical copy? That is the old model - go to the store, buy a disk, and it plays on all your devices. If it breaks or wears out, you buy another.

    Are you buying a license to use the work instead? If so, the customer's rights are seperate from the physical copies. See, for example, site licenses for software, where you may have one CD and 100 licenses that can be moved from device to device as needed.

    The whole idea behind these DRM schemes is an attempt to sell copies under the "old model" when the market is demanding the second, and is enabled by current technology such that it's now feasible for things to work that way. Indeed, it appears that the *AA are really trying to combine the worst aspects of both models to create a "third way" that really boils down to rent-seeking instead of sales. In other words, content is never purchased, but is merely rented.

    The solution is a model where the works are licensed to an individual. The *AA could easily provide a "registration service" for specific works that could be referred to if a question as to licensing ever arose.

    Copyright is not per se a bad thing at all, but the abuse of it to generate repeat sales of the same works to the same individual IS flat-out evil.

    • With Fairplay etc you must make a copy of the content. Thus there is an argument for "licensing" of it.

      However, CSS is attached to something you buy. If you go to a store and buy a DVD, you do not license it, any more than you "license" a book by buying it from a bookstore.

      I have to keep bringing this up because this whole "licensing" thing is what the media companies are trying to brainwash us into accepting. Thus DRM becomes part of licensing, rather than what it is: a method to extend control o

    • Cue South Park's portrayal of Johnnie Cochran and the Chewbacca defense in 5, 4, 3....

      I love that bit! I know the whole thing by heart - Check this out...

      "Hi. I'm Johnnie Cochrane. This is the Chewbacca Defense."

      Heh, that bit cracks me up!

  • The Naked Emperor (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Nom du Keyboard (633989) on Tuesday September 30, 2008 @01:47PM (#25207769)
    This Emperor truly has no clothes. Here's why...

    CSS encryption was broken so long ago by now that a lot of people don't even remember non-crackable movie DVDs. At best it's a low tripwire rather than an insurmountable barrier.

    The content industry contends that Real's product, like Kaleidoscope's before them, removes even the tripwire for people who are too stupid to know how to Google. They further contend that there's this "delicate balance" of DRM that allows the studios to release their "incredibly valuable" content to the consumers in standard digital form and still sleep at night. Without keeping this nebulous veil that the works are protected against copying the studios would not release any movies to DVD any longer.

    IT'S A LIE!

    Studios make half their profits from any movie off of DVD sales. They can't afford to give them up. Blockbuster rentals didn't destroy them. Netflix hasn't destroyed them. deCSS hasn't destroyed them, and neither will Real. In short:

    THE STUDIOS AREN'T GOING TO QUIT SELLING DVDs BECAUSE THEY CAN'T AFFORD TO!

    So much for the big scary stories that your DVD player is about to become a paperweight. Ain't going to happen. Yeah they'll make a bit less than extracting every last penny, but they're not going to pull DVD sales because there is yet another hole in the armor of DRM.

    In fact, DRM never was about "copy protection". Make a bit-by-bit copy of any movie DVD with all the DRM intact and the copy plays just like the original.

    CSS DRM DOES NOT PREVENT EXACT COPIES FROM BEING MADE! IT ISN'T COPY PROTECTION!

    Are we clear on that now? All DRM does is limit your ability on where and how you can play your lawfully purchased content. The content provider would like to sell you one copy to play on your television, then another full price copy to play on your computer, and then another full price copy to play on your game console, your game handheld, your portable DVD player... They'd love to sell you the same content over and over and over again (think vinyl, cassette, CD, iTunes).

    The problem is that people now have more choices than ever (HDTV, PC, Gameboy, iPod) all at the same time and they want to Buy-Once-Play-Everywhere. Furthermore they don't see why they shouldn't be allowed to do this. And every moderate to wealthy household has a powerful engine in their own personal computer(s) capable of making all this happen. The movie industry's dream of pay-per-each-viewing, pay-per-device is a lovely dream not likely to ever be realized. Try that and there will be a revolution that will truly put them in their place.

    So don't buy into the farce that only DRM makes it possible for us to have DVD movies. PROFITS are what make it possible for us to have DVD movies and those profits are still there. Enough people buy legal DVDs to keep the system running, and are likely to continue to do so.

    So quit lying to us about the necessity of DRM, or how Real can't be allowed to do what is already being done. Try to make our lives simplier, not more complex, and quit trying to pick our pockets every moment. Times are hard enough right now as it is, and I don't see movie star and studio executive salaries declining as fast as my own yet.
  • Maybe we can bring back the +++NO CARRIER [wikipedia.org] and RFC1149 [faqs.org] "classic" connectivity jokes from the 90's, too!

    Or not.

  • The American Federal courts have a long standing tradition - a Constitutional tradition - of not issuing advisory opinions. What they want to see is "a case or controversy" that has evolved and matured in the real-world, if you can excuse the accidental pun.

Physician: One upon whom we set our hopes when ill and our dogs when well. -- Ambrose Bierce

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