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Real preps 'legal' DVD ripping app

updated 07:45 am EDT, Mon September 8, 2008


Real early on Monday introduced a potentially controversial app that could affect the legality of media transcoding. RealDVD would be one of the first DVD ripping programs from a major developer but claims to dodge the legal setbacks that have shut down earlier apps: the software preserves Macrovision's CSS encryption and limits sending copies to a maximum of five authorized PCs. The solution would let notebook owners or a whole home play a DVD movie from anywhere, Real claims.

The software also aims to simplify the process in a way that often isn't available with tools such as Handbrake. Real's software will automatically attempt to collect cover art and movie details for discs and let users browse ripped DVDs visually without needing the technical experience to manage videos by hand.

Real plans to ship RealDVD for Windows this month and is offering an initial early sales price of $30 that will climb up to $50 after a cut-off date; each PC playing the videos also requires a separate license key at $20 each. Versions for Macs or alternate operating systems haven't yet been discussed.

The move forces the issue of DVD copying back into the public. While movie studios and the DVD Copy Control Association have typically resisted any form of ripping, the complaints have often centered around the previous assumption that it would be necessary to break CSS for playback. Fair use advocates have demanded at least a basic right to copying for backup purposes and also for using content in digital form.

However, RealDVD's implementation is likely to draw criticism for limited access to videos. Besides the additional content and limits to the number of PCs, videos also can't be converted for use on an iPod or other portable media player. Videos can be stored on home network servers and will eventually support Windows Media Center but aren't yet known to support media extender devices.

by MacNN Staff



  1. climacs

    Joined: Dec 1969


    countdown to MPAA

    hissy fit... 3... 2... 1...

    I hear a turbine has been hooked up to Jack Valenti's spinning corpse and the energy is being used to power three square blocks in Hollywood.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Fair use advocates have demanded at least a basic right to copying for backup purposes and also for using content in digital form.

    Um, you don't need to 'demand' this right. The copyright act in the US grants this right. If anything, the demand should be the 'capability', not the 'right'.

  1. vasic

    Joined: Dec 1969



    We have yet to see DMCA challenged successfully in court.

    Since this is Real, they're known for having danced according to RIAA's/MPAA's tune, so I wouldn't be surprised if MPAA actually decides to endorse this product. Ironically, DMCA would still probably apply and someone else (other than MPAA) could, in order to make a point, sue Real for providing a tool to circumvent encryption on copyrighted content.

    In the end, this software doesn't really bring anything of realistic value to the consumer. With the increading number of downloadable offerings, the need for such a tool in the US is low as it is. Overseas, DMCA doesn't apply, so other tools (Mac the Ripper) are perfectly legal.

  1. horvatic

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Keeping Macrovision

    If Macrovision is still in tack, how can you watch the movie? It would be unplayable and worthless. And I want a hard copy on DVD not just on a hard drive.
    There not giving a whole solution. And since I can get rippers for free it doesn't make any sense to buy this product.

  1. climacs

    Joined: Dec 1969



    not in tack

    arrrrgh my inner spelling n*** wants to send you to Buchenwald.

  1. WiseWeasel

    Joined: Dec 1969


    No Thanks...

    I'll stick to MacTheRipper and Handbrake, thank you very much, and for that I am rewarded with the ability to watch my movies on any device of my choosing.

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