Real’s lawyers tried to get the jump on Hollywood (or rather, the Motion Picture Association of America) by filing a lawsuit against the organization first, asking the courts to rule that RealDVD complies with licensing agreements, but that’s the equivalent of a Hail Mary pass at best. But if Real is dumb for ever thinking it could launch such a product, the MPAA is even dumber for opposing it. If the app includes DRM controls that prevent users from sharing and burning, then why not let DVD buyers make copies that they can watch on their computers? Seeing any kind of copying as a crime hasn’t done the industry any favours so far.
This is the kind of product announcement that makes you shake your head and wonder what the hell people at companies like Real are thinking. Not only is the product likely going to make Real a target for legal action by the movie industry, but as more than one commenter at Slashdot, Digg and other technology sites and forums have pointed out, copying DVDs isn’t exactly rocket surgery. There are dozens of easy-to-use programs such as DVD Decrypter, Handbrake (for Macs) and others that can accomplish the same thing, and also produce files that can be watched anywhere, burned, shared and so on.