RealDVD: might be legal, but the movie industry suits don't like it

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realdvd_foot.jpgThere’s a little buzz around Real Networks’ inspiringly-named RealDVD software, for while the company claims that it legally copies DVDs to a hard disc and adds an extra level of DRM into the mix, the movie industry may not be too happy about it.

Unlike the plethora of software that cracks standard and high definition discs so it can be played whenever and wherever (consumers are funny creatures when it comes to doing what they like with stuff they’ve bought), RealDVD keeps the disc image intact. Taking a leaf from Apple — and then charging lots of money for it — it even allows up to five computers to be registered so that ripped discs can be watched.

Bizarrely, it won’t copy unprotected DVDs, because of the risk that they’re pirated copies, so you’ll have to find some other way of getting Uncle Fred’s home-made DVD of your wedding onto multiple computers.

Convenience is all very well, but I’m not sure I want to pay $20 per computer for the privilege of watching my own shiny discs without having to plop them in the player myself. In any case, the MPAA (Motion Pictures Association of America) could well be breathing down Real’s neck at this very moment, concerned about the dubious use of the word “legal”.

In any case, it’s much more fun downloading movies.

(Via The Inquirer)

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Andy Merrett