Studios vs. Real Networks adds antitrust twist

« Hollywood Docket: Defense Dept.'s torture music; Lil Wayne guilty plea; Polanski extradition | Main | Disney pollution case can go to trial »

Studios vs. Real Networks adds antitrust twist

Fri Oct 23, 2009 @ 11:02AM PST

By Eriq Gardner

6a00d83451d69069e201156f92af48970c Earlier this year, on the eve of a California district judge deciding whether to issue an injunction preventing the release of a software that allowed consumers to copy DVDs to their hard drive, Real Networks amended its complaint against film studios to include allegations of an antitrust conspiracy

In some quarters, the move was seen as a desperate attempt to change the playing field on a game that wasn't going well for Real. It did, though, add some new intrigue in the case.

Flash forward six months.

After suffering a major defeat when Judge Marilyn Patel decided to halt sales of RealDVD, Real Networks appealed the case to the Ninth Circuit. That move was expected. Real will try to get the injunction lifted while attempting to convince a jury it has a "fair use" right to make digital copies of DVDs.

But before the case moves to trial, Judge Patel still has to decide the sticky issue of whether Real Networks can pursue its antitrust claim.

This month, both sides have been lobbing memoranda in the studios' motion to dismiss Real's antitrust allegation.

Real believes that "each of the Studios could, acting independently, license RealNetworks to make and sell a device that copies their DVD content onto a hard drive."

Lawyers on the studio side seem to be getting a little peeved about this argument. 

"It is obvious what is going on here," reads a memorandum filed a week ago by the studios. "Real was properly enjoined from engaging in illegal conduct and now is looking for litigation leverage."

Expect a decision soon.

TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Studios vs. Real Networks adds antitrust twist:

The Hollywood Reporter
The Hollywood Reporter, Esq. blog focuses on how the entertainment and media industries are impacted and influenced by the law. It is edited by Matthew Belloni with contributions from veteran legal reporter Eriq Gardner and others. Before joining The Hollywood Reporter, Belloni was a lawyer at an entertainment litigation firm in Los Angeles. He writes a column for THR devoted to entertainment law. Gardner is a New York-based writer and legal journalist. Send tips or comments to [email protected]

The Hollywood Reporter
Contact: Patrice Atiee at 323.525.2014 or [email protected]

The Hollywood Reporter is Your Complete Film Resource

The columnists and bloggers who write for The Hollywood Reporter have their collective finger on the pulse of the boxoffice. Martin Grove and the other THR columnists deliver their thoughts on the film industry in an uncompromised style. Subscribe to THR today and get the latest views from these film experts and get the latest movie reviews as well.