Or at least sue them first: That's what RealNetworks is doing.
RealNetworks beat the movie studios to court; yesterday, the digital-media company brought a lawsuit against Hollywood studios, asking a court to declare preemptively that its RealDVD software does not violate any copyright laws.
The software allows movie fans to make a copy of a movie from a DVD and store it on their computer hard drive. That would be nice for travelers -- no stack of DVDs to carry on the plane -- and for parents, who could plop their kids in front of screen in the back seat without searching through a stack of discs first.
RealNetworks claims that its software doesn't break through any encryption on the DVDs for its software to work. (Cracking encryption would be a violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.)
Still, it wasn't much of a surprise when, a few hours after RealNetworks' move, the Motion Picture Association of America brought a suit of its own.
The MPAA wants a temporary restraining order to keep RealDVD off the market while the parties tussle over it in court. They worry about people making copies of rented DVDs that they don't own.
I say we wouldn't do that. You?