Real settles lawsuits, will stop selling RealDVD

RealNetworks will pay the studios $4.5 million and reimburse people who bought the product

RealNetworks has agreed to pay US$4.5 million and permanently stop selling its RealDVD software as part of a legal settlement with six Hollywood movie studios, the company said Wednesday.

The lawsuits date back to 2008, when the movie studios accused RealNetworks of selling software that allowed people to essentially steal DVDs by making copies of them. RealNetworks argued that RealDVD was designed only to let customers make a backup copy of movies on their PC hard drive.

But in granting a preliminary injunction against sales of the product last year, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California said RealDVD violates federal law as well as a license agreement that Real had signed with the DVD Copy Control Association.

The case had been set to go to trial, but Real Networks said Wednesday that it has settled the case with six Hollywood movie studios, Viacom and the DVD Copy Control Association.

Real will withdraw its appeal of last year's preliminary injunction and stop supporting RealDVD or any other technology that enables the duplication of copyright content, it said in a statement.

It will also reimburse the 2,700 people who paid $30 to purchase RealDVD, it said. The $4.5 million is for the studios to cover their legal costs.

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