Now playing: Hollywood vs. RealNetworks in showdown over legality of software that copies DVDs

Federal trial starts in showdown over DVD ‘ripper’

SAN FRANCISCO — A movie studios lawyer accused a maker of a DVD copier during a federal trial in San Francisco of consulting with Ukrainian hackers to develop its product.

The accusation came during the trial’s opening statements Friday in U.S. District Court. The scheduled three-day trial will determine if RealNetworks Inc.’s software is an illegal DVD “ripper” or a legitimate product that helps households better manage DVD collections.

The studios’ lawyer Bart Williams told a judge that RealNetworks’ product is designed to illegally get around DVD anti-piracy protections.

Williams said evidence turned over as part of the lawsuit shows that RealNetwork engineers developing the company’s product purchased DVD copying software illegal in the U.S. from an Ukraine company.

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