September 08, 2008 |
One of the companies debuting a new product today at the DEMOfall event is RealNetworks which demonstrates a new DVD copying software RealDVD. Priced at $30, the application is intended to make copies of movies from DVDs to PC – claiming to actually do it legally.
The claim is based on the fact that when copying a DVD the software actually creates a secure copy of the entire disk, even preserving the CSS encryption.
It takes 10 to 40 minutes and 4 to 8 gigabyte of hard drive space to copy a movie from a DVD. At that the software makes sure that after copying the movies are encrypted and locked again to prevent sharing or stealing of the created copies. And if a user is not satisfied with watching the movie using only the machine a copy has been made to, it is also possible to broaden the license and watch such copies on up to 4 different machines for an extra fee. And if all the rules are observed (the movie is actually owned at the time of copying and is only watched on the same PC), such copies of movies are supposed to be actually legal. But nevertheless such issues have always been viewed as suspicious by the DVD and movie industries and all the reporters agree that questions will be sure to arise.
Besides, while the creators of RealDVD have started to inform some of the big players in the movie industry, representatives of movie companies definitely have not had enough time to consider how actually legal the results of using such software could be. Honestly, I myself think this one in particular is a case when a company could be much better off consulting all the industry experts it could reach before even starting the development of such a questionable product instead of starting talking to me mere days before presenting the product at a big technology gathering like DEMO.
The major threat is obvious: given how easy it is to rent a movie, rip it and return back people will be sure to quickly figure out a way to make such copies that will not be legal. But hopefully the movie industry will believe the measures applied by the software to prevent piracy are enough and we will actually see it sold both on the company’s website and on Amazon by the end of the month as promised. In the meanwhile everyone is invited to take a very stylish and rather persuasive video tour of the product.