Court stops RealNetworks selling DVD copy software

Aug 12 (Reuters) - A U.S. federal district court judge in California has granted Hollywood studios a preliminary injunction stopping digital media company RealNetworks RNWK.O from offering software that allows users to copy DVDs.

The studios have argued that the software should be banned because it violates copyright law and agreed-upon encryption methods.

Called “RealDVD”, the software allows people to make backups of their DVDs on a home computer, which “circumvents a technological measure that effectively controls access to or copying of the studios’ copyrighted content on DVDs”, U.S. District Judge Marilyn Hall Patel said.

Movie companies in the case are Disney DIS.N, Warner Bros TWX.N, Sony Pictures Entertainment 6758.T, Twentieth Century Fox, owned by News Corp NWSA.O, Paramount Pictures, owned by Viacom VIAb.N, and Universal Studios, owned by the NBC Universal media wing of General Electric Co GE.N.

They were joined by the Motion Picture Association of America and the DVD Copy Control Association.

A preliminary injunction will remain in effect until the full case is heard.

RealNetworks could not be immediately reached for comment by Reuters after regular U.S. business hours.

The case is RealNetworks, Inc. et al v. DVD Copy Control Association, Inc. et al in the Northern District Court of California, case number 3:08-cv-04548-MHP. (Reporting by S. John Tilak in Bangalore, editing by Will Waterman)