Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 26th Aug 2011 22:06 UTC, submitted by Morgan
Legal And we have another contender for the stupidest technology-related lawsuit of 2011. Do you remember RealNetworks? The scourge of '90s web users? Lucky for us, their horrible media player is no longer a requirement on the web. Also lucky, for those of us who occasionally run into content encoded in any of Real's codecs, there's Real Alternative (download here). Well, apparently, RealNetworks is not happy with Real Alternative (download here), as the US company has completely destroyed the life of the Dutch maintainer of a website who dared to link to Real Alternative (download here).
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Comment by ilovebeer
by ilovebeer on Fri 26th Aug 2011 22:34 UTC
ilovebeer
Member since:
2011-08-08

Real Networks did not destroy this persons life. He took a risk by redistributing their codec without a license to do so, which is a crime. Real Networks, well within their rights, opted to use legal channels to protect their property. I don't see a problem here. Is the offenders age supposed to give him a magical pass from obeying copyright laws? Are some peoples apparent dislike for Real Networks supposed to somehow make Real Networks immune from legal protection of their products?

The guy took a risk and got in trouble. The victim in this case is Real Networks, not the guy who committed a crime against them. Don't lose sight of that fact.

Reply Score: -3

RE: Comment by ilovebeer
by Shannara on Fri 26th Aug 2011 22:41 in reply to "Comment by ilovebeer"
Shannara Member since:
2005-07-06

Unfortunately, Tom didn't do research before posting this article ...

Bet he's really embarrassed now ;)

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by ilovebeer
by Luis on Fri 26th Aug 2011 22:51 in reply to "RE: Comment by ilovebeer"
Luis Member since:
2006-04-28

Well, to be fair, the site where the original article is published didn't do the necessary research when writing it. I don't think it's Thom's fault (he can't research to verify that every article linked to in osnews has all the correct information).

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Comment by ilovebeer
by umccullough on Fri 26th Aug 2011 22:47 in reply to "Comment by ilovebeer"
umccullough Member since:
2006-01-26

The guy took a risk and got in trouble. The victim in this case is Real Networks, not the guy who committed a crime against them. Don't lose sight of that fact.


Except, the guy did what he was asked to do, but RealNetworks are morons and didn't believe it:

"RealNetworks claims Edskes failed to remove the link to the software, and the reference in the DNS directories existed after February 12, 2010. However, the hosting provider checked backups and confirmed the removal of the link."

They proceeded to sue him anyway.

Nevermind that linking isn't distributing.

Edited 2011-08-26 22:50 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 8

RE: Comment by ilovebeer
by Thom_Holwerda on Fri 26th Aug 2011 22:48 in reply to "Comment by ilovebeer"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

It's all about fitting punishment. You don't destroy a person's life for something as silly as this. This is not a fitting punishment. I don't believe in eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth.

I guess I'm from a different culture.

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[2]: Comment by ilovebeer
by bhtooefr on Fri 26th Aug 2011 22:57 in reply to "RE: Comment by ilovebeer"
bhtooefr Member since:
2009-02-19

This isn't even an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.

This is a limb for a minor cut.

Reply Parent Score: 13

RE[2]: Comment by ilovebeer
by Morgan on Sat 27th Aug 2011 08:11 in reply to "RE: Comment by ilovebeer"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

That was my mindset when I submitted it. Why is this guy's life being destroyed over an intangible, and at this stage in RealNetworks' business plan, unprofitable product? They stopped supporting the version of the Real codec that Real Alternative uses a long time ago, and likely never really profited much on it in the past several years.

Yet they are causing an immense hardship to this young man, basically destroying his life, and even if they win they could never possibly collect damages from him as they have already bankrupted him in legal fees.

I don't care if he created Real Alternative, hosted it or just linked to it, none of those actions warrant the kind of gross financial destruction he has already suffered, before the trial is even over. I sincerely hope he wins and the judge orders RealNetworks to make him whole.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[2]: Comment by ilovebeer
by steogede2 on Sat 27th Aug 2011 09:04 in reply to "RE: Comment by ilovebeer"
steogede2 Member since:
2007-08-17

I don't believe in eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth.


The whole point of "an eye for an eye", was to limit retribution - to have an even, fair and balanced justice system. There's nothing even, fair or balanced about what Real Networks are doing to this guy. It is amazing that he is accused of no crime (it is a civil case), but the impact on his life is worse than it would be if he had been convicted of a serious crime.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by ilovebeer
by No it isnt on Sat 27th Aug 2011 09:37 in reply to "RE: Comment by ilovebeer"
No it isnt Member since:
2005-11-14

Forcing him to use RealPlayer should be punishment enough.

Reply Parent Score: 11

RE: Comment by ilovebeer
by JoeBuck on Fri 26th Aug 2011 23:22 in reply to "Comment by ilovebeer"
JoeBuck Member since:
2006-01-11

Perhaps you had too much beer before you posted? Real does not allege that this person distributed software that infringes their rights. They allege that he published a link to a site that distributed it.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Comment by ilovebeer
by Luminair on Sat 27th Aug 2011 01:45 in reply to "Comment by ilovebeer"
Luminair Member since:
2007-03-30

Real Networks did not destroy this persons life. He took a risk by redistributing their codec without a license to do so, which is a crime.


you are stupid. next time you spit out some gum you're going to get a billy stick to the face for being a criminal. see you in the hospital, creep!

Reply Parent Score: -1

RE: Comment by ilovebeer
by molnarcs on Sat 27th Aug 2011 05:07 in reply to "Comment by ilovebeer"
molnarcs Member since:
2005-09-10

Real Networks did not destroy this persons life. He took a risk by redistributing their codec without a license to do so, which is a crime. Real Networks, well within their rights, opted to use legal channels to protect their property. I don't see a problem here. Is the offenders age supposed to give him a magical pass from obeying copyright laws? Are some peoples apparent dislike for Real Networks supposed to somehow make Real Networks immune from legal protection of their products?

The guy took a risk and got in trouble. The victim in this case is Real Networks, not the guy who committed a crime against them. Don't lose sight of that fact.


My god, I can't believe people think like you! I mean come on! Are you saying he deserves this? That his (and his family's) life should be destroyed because copyright violations? Are you nuts? What a corporate whore...

Reply Parent Score: 8

RE: Comment by ilovebeer
by Fergy on Sat 27th Aug 2011 18:09 in reply to "Comment by ilovebeer"
Fergy Member since:
2006-04-10

Real Networks did not destroy this persons life. He took a risk by redistributing their codec without a license to do so, which is a crime. Real Networks, well within their rights, opted to use legal channels to protect their property. I don't see a problem here. Is the offenders age supposed to give him a magical pass from obeying copyright laws? Are some peoples apparent dislike for Real Networks supposed to somehow make Real Networks immune from legal protection of their products?

The guy took a risk and got in trouble. The victim in this case is Real Networks, not the guy who committed a crime against them. Don't lose sight of that fact.

I think these kind of offenses should be punished by a fine that fits the crime. Now I think this 'crime' is less harmful to society than riding a bicycle without proper lights.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: Comment by ilovebeer
by plague on Sat 27th Aug 2011 23:59 in reply to "Comment by ilovebeer"
plague Member since:
2006-05-08

So a big company with millions of dollars, who sue a twenty-something guy into oblivion because he linked to a website containing an alternative to their absolutely horrible codec, which they by the way used to try to get a monopoly during the 90's, is actually the victim? Yeah, suuuuuure, and pink elephants fly up in the clouds too.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by ilovebeer
by ilovebeer on Sun 28th Aug 2011 00:35 in reply to "RE: Comment by ilovebeer"
ilovebeer Member since:
2011-08-08

So a big company with millions of dollars, who sue a twenty-something guy into oblivion because he linked to a website containing an alternative to their absolutely horrible codec, which they by the way used to try to get a monopoly during the 90's, is actually the victim? Yeah, suuuuuure, and pink elephants fly up in the clouds too.

Yes, Real Networks is the victim in this case. It doesn't matter that they're a company and whatever financial resources they have is completely irrelevant. Neither of those things changes the FACT that they are the victim, not the criminal.

And as I said earlier, Real Networks was neither the ruling judge in this case, nor responsible for the sentencing. If you want to whine about some kind of pretend injustice you think happened, take it up with your lawmakers and more specifically, the ruling judge. The only thing Real Networks did was file a lawsuit -- something well within their legal rights to do. End of story.

Reply Parent Score: 1