RealNetworks on Tuesday released software that lets people copy films on DVDs, sparking a heated legal battle with Hollywood film studios fearful of rampant piracy.
The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) rushed to federal court in Los Angeles and filed a lawsuit demanding that RealNetworks be stopped from distributing its RealDVD software and be made to pay cash damages.
"RealNetworks' RealDVD should be called StealDVD," MPAA general counsel Greg Goeckner said in a release.
"RealNetworks knows its product violates the law and undermines the hard-won trust that has been growing between America's movie makers and the technology community."
RealNetworks countered by saying it will file legal paperwork asking the court to rule that the software enabling people to copy movie DVDs is legal because it complies with a DVD Copy Control Association license agreement.
"RealNetworks took this legal action to protect consumers' ability to exercise their fair-use rights for their purchased DVDs," the company said in a release.
"We are disappointed that the movie industry is following in the footsteps of the music industry and trying to shut down advances in technology rather than embracing changes that provide consumers with more value and flexibility for their purchases."
The software at issue was made available Tuesday online at www.realdvd.com for a price of $29.99.© Wire reports