RealDVD Killed as Part of Hollywood Settlement

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.