[rumori] realaudio suit against streambox

Steev Hise (steevATdetritus.net)
Tue, 11 Jan 2000 11:25:55 -0800 (PST)

Interesting copyright battle heating up. Streambox is a small company
that makes a piece of software that lets you convert a realaudio file into
other formats. something that has always been what Real doesnt want you to
do. RealNetworks has sued them.


if you're really interested, read the legal response from streamworks:


now that i read more, it seems clearly to be yet another rerun of the
other copyright battles over new technologies, the first of which was the
cable television lawsuit back in the 70s, and then the disney/mgm suit
against Sony over the VCR. Both suits were basically resolved in favor of
the defendants, essentially because the courts found that the technologies
primarily were used by people to allow people (the consumer) more freedom
in how they access media. (in fact, Streambox sites some of the same
reasonings as the defense inthe VCR case, such as the "time-shifting"
ability that VCRs provide.)

However an interesting point brought up, for instance, by Bettig in
"Copyrighting Culture" (1996, Westview Press) is that whenever these new
technolgies arise they ultimately serve as just another outlet or channel
to distribute the intellectual property of the entrenched media
companies, rather than resulting in some sort of revolutionary change in
the status quo.
( e.g. Disney originally saw the VCR as a huge threat and sued Sony, but
now video tape sales account for a very large proportion of Disney's

Perhaps the internet will prove to be different. Perhaps not.


> Real Keeps Up Copyright Fight
> by Christopher Jones
> 12:55 p.m. 10.Jan.2000 PST
> RealNetworks won round one of its case
> Streambox on Friday, when a federal court in
> Seattle extended a temporary restraining
> barring the company from distributing its
> software.

Steev Hise, Nervert
steevATdetritus.net http://detritus.net/steev
"The traditional notion of the 'neutrality' of technology can no
 longer be maintained."
                 -Herbert Marcuse, One-Dimensional Man

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