Studios Sue to Bar a DVD-Copying Program Excerpted from NY Times Report by Brad Stone Six major movie studios sued RealNetworks, the Seattle, WA based digital media company, on Tuesday over its new $30 software program that allows people to make digital copies of their DVDs. As the opening warning on every DVD indicates, Hollywood has bitterly opposed such copying. The studios have argued that it threatens their emerging business of digital downloads and can motivate buyers to rent, copy, and return DVDs instead of buying them. RealNetworks, the company behind RealPlayer software and the Rhapsody music subscription service, said RealDVD gives users the freedom to do things like make back-up copies of favorite discs or take movies along on a laptop while traveling. It has argued that RealDVD is now legal because of a favorable decision last year in a case against Kaleidescape, a Silicon Valley, CA based manufacturer of high-end media servers. RealNetworks also said that RealDVD conforms to Hollywood's rules on DVD protection by encrypting the digital copies, which prevents unlawful online file sharing. "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," RealNetworks said. For their part, the studios argued in legal filings that the software violates the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) because it bypasses the anti-copying mechanism built into DVDs. "RealDVD should be called StealDVD," Greg Goeckner, Executive Vice President and General Counsel for the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA). "RealNetworks knows its product violates the law, and undermines the hard-won trust that has been growing between America's moviemakers and the technology community." Paramount Pictures, Twentieth Century Fox, Universal Studios, Warner Bros., Columbia Pictures, the Walt Disney Company, and Sony Pictures are suing RealNetworks in United States District Court in Los Angeles, CA, seeking an injunction that would prevent the company from selling the software. Also on Tuesday, RealNetworks countersued the studios in federal court in San Francisco, CA, asking a judge to find that the program does not violate Hollywood's DVD license.