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RealDVD - Save Your DVDs to Your PC  (9/2009)

    by Douglas Dixon


Summary of the RealNetworks RealDVD product, litigation, and associated legal entanglements, based on public information, case documents, and news reports -- with extensive links. (Note: While I was an expert witness for RealNetworks in this case, these articles are intended to be factual summaries based on links to publicly available materials.)

The RealDVD product allowed consumers to "save, organize and watch DVDs on their PC and on the go" by copying the disc to a hard drive (but with protection to prevent further sharing). The RealDVD litigation began immediately after the product was released in September 2008. The DVD CCA and several major motion picture studios claimed that Real had breached its license agreement and violated the DMCA. U.S. District Judge Marilyn Patel granted a temporary restraining order in October. After a "mini-trial" in April and May 2009, Judge Patel granted a preliminary injunction in August, enjoining RealNetworks from distributing its DVD copying software.


RealDVD Product Overview


The RealDVD product allowed consumers to "save, organize and watch DVDs on their PC and on the go" by copying DVD discs to a hard drive (but with protection to prevent further sharing). It can be regarded as a mass-market version of the Kaleidescape high-end DVD jukebox system (which is involved in similar litigation).


"Save your DVD collection to your PC or portable hard drive, then play back without the discs."
  • Shipped September 2008
  • Sold some 3,000 copies before stopped by litigation
  • Retail price $49.99, limited-time discount offer of $29.99
         Additional licenses [up to 4] available at discounted price of $19.99
  • Product site - www.realdvd.com

   

Sept. 8, 2008 - Press Release - RealNetworks Introduces RealDVD: The Best Way to Watch DVDs
    RealDVD Lets Consumers Save, Organize and Watch DVDs On Their PC and On The Go
    www.realnetworks.com/company/press/releases/2008/realdvd.html

RealDVD eliminates the hassle of searching through piles of DVD cases to find a missing disc and the disappointment of finding a favorite disc scratched and unplayable. Saving DVDs lets consumers create a valuable back-up copy of their digital library on their computer or portable drive for playback at home or on the road. RealDVD is ideal for traveling on business or entertaining the kids on a long trip with instant access to a variety of content and no physical discs to manage. Laptop users will appreciate improved battery life as the disc drive is no longer needed for video playback.


RealDVD Features

    (From RealNetworks product information)

Stop, shut down and come back later without losing your spot in movie.

Saves up to 12% of your battery power versus watching a movie that's spinning in your laptop.

Watch and save DVDs simultaneously

Stop at any time and resume saving where you left off.

Browse by cover art, genre, title, rating, and actor. 

Then click and play.

Skip, jump or "slide" to any part of the movie, even between chapters.
Start watching immediately: save and play movies, skip previews, show subtitles.

Access most features in a click or two.

Dig deeper into your movies with detailed plot synopses and cast lists. 

Get more info and photos via links to Film.com.

Protect your discs — no more scratches, skips, blips, or lost titles.

Fast Facts

    (From RealNetworks product information)

   

  • RealDVD saves an exact copy of the DVD image to a PC's internal or portable hard drive
        Users can simultaneously watch and save a DVD
  • Saved DVDs are then encrypted and locked again 
        to make sure they cannot be shared or stolen
  • Saving DVDs takes an average of 10-40 minutes
        and takes up roughly 4-8 gigs of space
  • RealDVD lets users pause and auto resume playback where they left off
  • DVDs saved on a portable hard drive can be played on up to 5 PCs per user  
        with an authorized copy of RealDVD
  • Watching a saved DVD uses less battery life than viewing content from a disc in the drive
  • Browse cover art, genre, title rating and actor information
        imported automatically during saving
  • Parental controls ensure children only access entertainment that is appropriate for their age
  • Fifty percent of U.S. broadband households have over 50 DVDs in their collections, and last year consumers spent more than $16 billion purchasing DVDs (According to TDG Reports & Screen Digest)
  • Hollywood shipped 1.1 billion DVD discs in 2007 — nearly 30 million more than in 2006 (According to Screen Digest)

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