A federal judge has barred RealNetworks Inc. from selling a device that allows consumers to copy DVDs to their computer hard drives, pending a full trial, reports the Associated Press. Walt Disney Co., Sony Corp., and Universal Studios, among others, filed suit against Seattle-based RealNetworks in 2008, saying its RealDVD device is an illegal pirating tool. The Hollywood studios contend that RealDVD would keep consumers from paying retail prices for movies on DVD that could be rented cheaply, copied, and returned. RealNetworks has said its product legally meets growing consumer demand to convert their DVDs to digital form for convenient storage and viewing. RealNetworks lawyers have argued that RealDVD is equipped with piracy protections that limit a DVD owner to making a single copy. They also said the device provides consumers with a legitimate way to back up copies of movies legally purchased. On Aug. 11, U.S. District Court Judge Marilyn Hall Patel ruled in favor of the movie studios in granting a preliminary injunction against RealDVD, declaring that the technology would allow consumers renting and buying DVDs to violate copyright laws. The judge’s ruling did not set a date for a trial in the case…

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