Real, the Law, and yet another ruling of ill repute

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From: Tom Whore (
Date: Fri Sep 08 2000 - 15:13:39 PDT

[if you dont have a copy of streambox know the drill:)-]

RealNetworks settles lawsuit with Streambox By Jim Hu Staff Writer, CNET
September 8, 2000, 8:50 a.m. PT

Web-streaming software company RealNetworks today said that it has ended
its nine-month legal battle against rival Streambox by agreeing to an
out-of-court settlement.

As part of the deal, Streambox has agreed to obey RealNetworks' copyrights
when developing new products. More specifically, Streambox will stop
letting its Streambox Ripper software transform RealMedia streams into
alternative formats and will modify its Streambox VCR to respect the
copyrights of the RealSystem video player.

It also will pay RealNetworks an undisclosed sum of money. Financial
details were not disclosed.

Copyright protection on the Internet for audio and video content has been
a sore spot for both technology companies and traditional content
producers. The recording industry has taken several high-profile legal
steps to punish technology companies such as Napster and for
allegedly violating copyrights.

RealNetworks and Streambox, both based in Seattle, declared that it's time
to move beyond the legal tussle and into a new era of cooperation. "We are
pleased to be working with RealNetworks to put this behind us and to bring
the creative energies of our software developers together with the leading
company in digital media distribution," Bob Hildeman, CEO of Streambox,
said in a statement.

Steve Banfield, general manager for RealPlayer at RealNetworks, said in a
statement that Streambox will be "welcomed" by its own users when the
companies jointly develop new products. The settlement ends a legal battle
waged by RealNetworks to protect its popular software products from
alleged misuse. RealNetworks in December 1999 took Streambox to federal
court alleging that the rival software company violated the Digital
Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), which bars companies from distributing
technology that can bypass copyright protection measures. In January, a
U.S. District Court issued a preliminary injunction barring Streambox from
distributing two out of three products. Judge Marsha Pechman ruled that
RealNetworks made a strong case that the Streambox VCR could be in
violation of the DMCA. The Streambox VCR records video and audio streamed
over the Web through RealNetworks' media player. Although Streambox
executives have argued that their product is analogous to the VCR, Pechman
wrote in a January court brief that the software was designed to
"circumvent the access control and copyright protection measures that
RealNetworks affords copyright owners."

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