U.S. judge halts sales of RealNetworks DVD software

(Reuters) - A U.S. federal judge temporarily halted sales of RealNetworks Inc’s RealDVD software, which allows users to copy DVDs, after Hollywood studios sued the company over copyright issues, court documents showed.

Judge Marilyn Hall Patel of the Northern District of California on Tuesday extended a temporary restraining order issued last week after the company and studios went to court.

The judge plans to schedule a hearing on whether to turn the order into a more permanent ban.

RealDVD, a software product from RealNetworks subsidiary RealNetworks Home Entertainment Inc, allows users to create a copy of a DVD for their computer’s internal or portable hard drive.

The Motion Picture Association of America, which represents Hollywood’s major film and TV studios, says the software illegally bypasses copy-protection measures intended to prevent duplication of DVDs.

“We are confident that the Court will determine that RealDVD complies with the DVD CCA (DVD Copy Control Association) license agreement, and that it is not in violation of any copyright laws,” RealNetworks said on its website.

The Motion Picture Association of America could not be immediately reached for comment.

Reporting by Ajay Kamalakaran in Bangalore; Editing by Mike Nesbit