RealDVD Killed as Part of Hollywood Settlement

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RealNetworks and several movie studios have reached a settlement where the software company agreed to kill its RealDVD application and pay a US$4.5 million fine. The settlement wraps up a multi-year lawsuit where movie studios, the DVD Copy Control Association and Viacom accused the RealNetworks of selling software that let users steal commercial DVDs by making copies of the discs.

RealNetworks also agreed to reimburse about 2,700 customers that purchased the RealDVD software package, disable the metadata service that feeds DVD cover art and movie information to users, and stop selling or supporting any software that lets users duplicate copyright protected content.

As part of the lawsuit, the movie studios were able to win an injunction blocking RealNetworks from selling RealDVD, and the company won't be appealing that as part of the settlement, too.

The settlement means RealNetworks won't have to face the studios in court, but also signals the end of a commercially available solution for copying movie DVDs -- and will also likely been seen as a loss by consumers that feel they have the right to make copies of the movies they buy.

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So sad. I’ve never cared for anything RealNetworks did, but when they announced ReadDVD I respected them for once. I don’t know how well it worked but this product would have done for DVD collections what MP3s did to CD collections. Oh well, at least we can still use Ripit ( and Plex ( with a Mac to make an awesome home movie library.


I’ve been using HandBrake to rip my DVD library to my digital hub.  I’ve been very happy with the video quality of the ripped videos and how easy it is to access those ripped DVDs from an AppleTV.  I had never heard of RipIt until I saw it as part of the latest MacHeist bundle, which I intend to buy anyways, even though I’m hard pressed how RipIt is going to make me give up on HandBrake.  But I’ve been surprised before.


This is absurd. Using this logic, Apple should have to remove Disk Utility from every copy of OS X…


The difference between Handbrake and programs like RipIt and MacTheRipper is that the latter two copy the entire disk with menus and special features. I prefer this to just ripping (and re-encoding) the main feature, although it does take a ton of space.

Disk Utility doesn’t circumvent “copy protections,” so it can’t do what ReadDVD, RipIt and MacTheRipper do, and for the same reason doesn’t incur the wrath of the DMCA.

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