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Movie studios revive the RIAA's "making a copy" equates to "stealing one copy" argument

The RIAA and music labels gained a bit more notoriety when one of its associates, Sony BMG's head of litigation Jennifer Pariser, remarked during a case, "When an individual makes a copy of a song for himself, I suppose we can say he stole a song." Making "a copy" of a purchased song is just "a nice way of saying 'steals just one copy'."

Now the MPAA, which typically follows closely in the RIAA's footsteps, is suing software maker RealNetworks and making similar remarks.  In a similar mentality, which some say punishes the paying customer,
Paramount Pictures, Twentieth Century Fox, Universal Studios, Warner Brothers, Columbia Pictures, the Walt Disney Company and Sony have all filed suit against the company, which claims it only wants to provide content owners with a means of backing up their DVDs.

Greg Goeckner, executive vice president and general counsel for the Motion Picture Association of America, says that users shouldn't get to copy their DVDs -- even those they own.  He states, "RealDVD should be called StealDVD.  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."

Seattle-based RealNetworks found itself targeted after it released its RealDVD software, available for $30.  RealNetworks is no rogue operator -- rather it’s the software giant behind the RealPlayer software and the Rhapsody music subscription service, the second largest legitimate online music retailer.  Nonetheless, it found itself the target of the MPAA's aggressive campaign, which seeks to block any private DVD reproduction. 

RealNetworks is standing tall against the MPAA and blasted back in a tersely worded statement Tuesday.  The statement read, "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."

RealDVD conforms to all Hollywood’s rules on DVD protection by encrypting the digital copies.  This is intended to prevent filesharing.  Still, studios claim the program violates the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act, an all-reaching act used for everything from web takedowns to filesharing cases.  The studios say that by overriding anti-copying mechanisms on the DVD, RealDVD is breaking the law.  The studios are seeking an injunction to prevent the program's sales.

A frustrated RealNetworks fired back with a countersuit of its own against the studios in a federal court in San Francisco on Tuesday.

This case will like bear major ramifications on the movie industry, and DailyTech will be following it closely.

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RE: Fair Use? Maybe?
By Regs on 10/1/2008 6:30:57 PM , Rating: 2
Dell, Inc. found a way and saved millions and made millions at the same time. The only problem I see is that Dell had brand name recognition. Does not work the same for newly formed Artists or groups. Though the benefits weigh so heavily in these artists favor in terms of market penetration and distribution costs.

Lets just think of it. Maybe one day, USA will adopt fiber optics as the standard for Internet bandwidth. Not just music we're talking about here, but Movies, games, and other media. Online retailers? The possibility to download CD quality music, arrange it on a track anyway you want, the convenience of the comfort of your own home, to sample the music before you buy...Wow, seems too good to be true. How about streaming free game demos? It's possible with today's technology. Oh but no, lets just sue everybody...

Without getting off on too much of a rant, I think that's the source of today's problems in our economy. Industry is going down the tubes because small business owners are getting devoured by these large corporations (EA, Universal Studios, Starbucks, Unions). We need to start promoting an environment for small businesses, because one day, one of the small businesses will grow into a larger one that will eventually employee thousands of Americans.

Technology is a gem of an opportunity to help our industry grow. Why aren't we producing any? Fossil fuels, 56K modems, gas hogging trucks, out dated road and transportation systems, and electrial power lines that still run above ground waiting for nearest 60mph wind guest to knock them down.

I think people are really starting to realize this, but I hope they can make the connection with the restrictions of current government. Government spending has gone crazy. Since money, goods, and services are finite, the more the government spends the less public owned businesses has the opportunity to use to grow. 500 billion in Iraq, another few billion in military contracts gone bust, a few billion dollars for security measures in the USA that are unconstitutional and pointless....

Ok I said enough. WE NEED A NEW DEAL.

RE: Fair Use? Maybe?
By Regs on 10/1/2008 7:04:36 PM , Rating: 2
And one more thing about small businesses. Small businesses bring new ideas and services to our nation. Corporations, as you may notice in today's economy, only do what's best for their own interests (stock owners who want more money for gold coat racks and their 6th house in the Hamptons). A 17 million dollar severance package for a CEO that ran a company for two weeks that went under!!!

I call it the recycle effect. Corporations go bankrupt, then people disperse to work for smaller organizations or even start one of their own with a better idea from the experience of failing. Small businesses then grow into large public owned corporations and then likely bust or get bought out by a more successful competitor. However the recycle effect has come to a screaming halt. There is no more foundation to support small businesses or individual entrepreneurs. Why? Many reasons. Large corporations are too ignorant or greedy to change with the times just to keep status quo. Regulation has to be put in place. We can no longer think with this mentality that only the rich can provide the jobs, because the rich do not share the same interests as the common man. They don't care if you have 3 starving kids. The money distribution in this country has become so constrained, that it was just a blood vessel waiting to pop. They're holding on to the money and they don't think its worth it to invest for new opportunities for people like you. My company (run by the French) is mostly owned by middle eastern oil company's and another French owned cosmetic company. Do you honestly think they care? They'll sell their stocks in a heart beat and invest in some other foreign industry (like toy making in China or Arms dealers for the USSR).

There are so many good ideas out there that are being squashed by burcratic non-sense, the public resilience and fear of change, and a abused and burdened legal system, that it no longer makes me angry, but just down-right sad.

Every time I drive my 10 miles to work, that now takes me over an hour in traffic from a inept and out dated road system (and the fact that all the jobs moved to the coasts of the USA), I'm reminded of how corrupt and greedy our country has become. We let it happen, we turned a blind eye, now it's our time to pay. Pay we shall, until the problem is fixed. I know I sound like Ralf Nader on roids, but this is the reality we now face. We wait for a crysis to finally find time to face the problems.

RE: Fair Use? Maybe?
By kkwst2 on 10/1/2008 9:20:43 PM , Rating: 3
Whoa. Get a blog, dude.

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