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April 6, 2009

Update on RealDVD vs MPAA

-- by Dave Johnson

I’ve been following on my blog the story of the movie industry (MPAA) lawsuit to keep RealDVD off the market and why you care. I wrote about business models,

“If this is about stopping people from watching their movies on their computer without having to have the actual DVD present, then MPAA is trying to fit customers into their business model, not the other way around.

[. . .] By holding up RealDVD MPAA may be trying to get the company to decide to just dcqapay them a license fee to get them off their back. If that is the case this isn't an argument over the definition of piracy at all, it is an abuse of the law and court system.”


A survey commissioned by the National Consumers League was released today and it found that an overwhelming number of DVD owners watch their DVDs on their computers (69%) and want to be able to save them on their computers (90%). Not only that but “more than a third said they’ve had to rebuy lost or damaged DVDs,” And for those with children that rose to 45%.

This is called a business opportunity. An overwhelming number of people want something and RealDVD has developed a product satisfies what those customers want. So you would think MPAA would be happy that a product is out there that promotes the idea of people buying DVDs and then using them the way they want to use them.

Where is the business case for the MIAA to object to this? The product doesn’t let people give copies of the DVDs to others to the harm to MPAA isn’t clear. Maybe the MPAA has a different kind of business model in mind: Instead of making a product that people want, they’re trying that other kind of business model – the one where you get the government to force someone to hand you money (or hand you money themselves.) Maybe they see RealDVD as a money-making opportunity in which Real reaches a “settlement” of giving MPAA a fee per unit sold?
It was recently announced that the case goes to court on April 24. So keep an eye out for that.

Posted by Dave Johnson at April 6, 2009 11:20 AM


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