A US federal judge has issued a ruling to halt sales of the RealDVD disk-copying tool.
Judge Marilyn Patel of the Norther California District Court has issued an injunction that prevents the sale of the tool in the US.
The ruling comes amid a legal battle between developer RealNetworks and the movie industry, which contends that, by allowing consumers to copy DVD content onto their computers, the company is facilitating movie piracy.
"We are disappointed that a preliminary injunction has been placed on the sale of RealDVD," the company said in a statement.
"We have just received the Judge's detailed ruling and are reviewing it. After we have done so fully, we'll determine our course of action and will have more to say at that time."
Electronic Frontier Foundation senior staff attorney Fred von Lohmann suggested in a blog posting that the case could drag on for some time.
"Real will likely appeal this ruling," said von Lohmann. "Unfortunately, given the pace of the federal appeals process, this means that the RealDVD products will likely stay off the market for at least a year.
"And whatever the outcome of that appeal, this ruling sends a chilling message to any technology innovator interested in delivering new products that interact with the DVDs you own."
The decision will not only inconvenience consumers, but also businesses that back up onto DVD. With the DVD technology proving less durable than some had expected, backup software is becoming an increasingly important issue.
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