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RealNetworks, Inc. v. Streambox, Inc.

United States District Court for the Western District of Washington
No. 2:99CV02070 (2000)


RealNetworks, Inc. (RealNetworks) (plaintiff) developed and marketed software products designed to allow media owners to stream their content over the Internet. Files hosted by RealNetworks were known as RealMedia. Through a security measure called Copy Switch, the content owners could disable the end users’ ability to download RealMedia files, and users could only stream the content. This prevented the unauthorized copying of the owner’s content. Streambox, Inc. (Streambox) (defendant) provided software products for processing and recording audio and video content. Streambox created the Streambox VCR, which enabled users to access and download copies of RealMedia files. The Streambox VCR circumvented Copy Switch and the RealMedia authorization procedure. Thus, even if content owners had disabled the downloading of their RealMedia files, the Streambox VCR would still allow users to download the files. RealNetworks sued, claiming that Streambox violated the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). Streambox presented a fair-use defense, arguing that its VCR had non-infringing uses.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Pachman, J.)

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