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Friday, June 15, 2007

Could new RealPlayer spark legal action?

RealNetworks' forthcoming RealPlayer 11 has a lot of nifty functionality that lets you download video from the Web...then you can watch it offline, on an iPod, or on a DVD you've burned. But media execs are already worrying about its impact on their business.

I wrote about the coming clash for Variety yesterday. Here's a snippet from the piece:

    Calling to mind Sony's earliest demonstrations of the Betamax videotape recorder, [RealNetworks CEO Rob] Glaser illustrated how the software works by pulling a David Letterman interview with Kevin Spacey from the Web site. "We're enabling consumers to enjoy digital entertainment whenever and wherever they want," Glaser said, speaking at the Digital Hollywood conference in Santa Monica. The new software is scheduled for release later in June. Glaser said this was only his second public demo of the software.

    "This is aiding and abetting piracy," fumed one network exec, who requested anonymity. "We make our content available on our site for viewing on demand, and if people want to download and own that content, they can buy it through iTunes, or they can buy the DVD."

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