From the Agence France-Presse yesterday . . .

RealNetworks on Tuesday released software that lets people copy films on DVDs, sparking a heated legal battle with Hollywood film studios fearful of rampant piracy.

The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) rushed to federal court in Los Angeles and filed a lawsuit demanding that RealNetworks be stopped from distributing its RealDVD software and be made to pay cash damages.

“RealNetworks’ RealDVD should be called StealDVD,” MPAA general counsel Greg Goeckner said in a release.