A judge sitting alone will decide the fate of the Real Networks Vs Hollywood DVD copying case which was bought by the Motion Picture Association in an effort to stop the release orf a $29.95 piece of software that allows DVD’s to be copied to a storage device.
Testimony wrapped up on Friday in the case that will determine whether a DVD-copying product from RealNetworks violates the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), as alleged by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), which filed the complaint. U.S. District Judge Marilyn Hall Patel previously issued a preliminary injunction halting sales of RealDVD, and after hearing testimony this week will decide whether to make the injunction permanent.
Real argues that its software simply helps consumers exercise their “fair use” right to make a back-up copy of a DVD they legally purchased and own, just as anyone can make copies of CDs, rip them to computers, and transfer them to portable devices.
MPAA attorney Bart Williams countered in court that even “one copy is a violation of the DMCA,”adding that “the only backup copy Congress envisioned [when writing the DMCA] was archival, that you would never use until such time when your main computer wasn’t working.”
The MPAA also petitioned for an estoppel ruling against Real, arguing that Real should be prevented from using “fair use” as a defense, since it previously successfully argued in a different case ten years ago that there was no fair use defense against the circumvention provision of the DMCA.
It’s unclear when Judge Patel will issue her ruling on the case.