RealDVD is a controversial software product developed and marketed by RealNetworks, the company RealVideo and Audio streaming technology that is very popular on the Internet (as well as it’s old Rhapsody music service). RealDVD allows consumers to make a limited number of copies of DVD-Video discs. The controversial part of the software is its ability to copy CSS-protected (Content Protection System) DVD titles to a computer for viewing without the original disc; a feature which Hollywood claims is illegal. Real, on the other hand, claims it has not broken any digital copy protection laws, since RealDVD does not remove the disc copy protection.
The software allows DVD copies to be watched on up to five different computers. In October 2008, a San Francisco judge responded to a complaint brought by the major Hollywood studios by blocking the sale and promotion of RealDVD. Other products that performed similar tasks have been successfully killed by Hollywood studios in the past. One such example is 321 Studios’ DVDXCopy, which could make copies of DVD movies to blank discs.
RealNetworks expects an injunction hearing to be held in San Francisco in March, and remains confident to this day (February 2009) that RealDVD is legal and will be back on the market as soon as possible.