Legal and Entertainment Industries Await Decision in Landmark Copyright Battle

Munger, Tolles & Olson litigation partners Bart Williams and Rohit Singla are representing the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and six major motion picture studios at trial in their efforts to make permanent a ban on the copyright “ripping” software RealDVD. RealNetworks, Inc., argues that consumers have a fair-use right to backup their DVDs. Meanwhile the MPAA and the motion picture studios argue that RealDVD usurps the studios’ copyright protections in violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

In anticipation of a ruling by U.S. District Judge Marilyn Hall Patel, CNET reporter Greg Sandoval provided background and commentary in his report on the proceedings. Mr. Sandoval observed:  “Real has hired some very able attorneys . . . to represent it.  But should it go to trial, Real would do well to hire a lawyer with the same kind of charisma and courtroom presence as Bart Williams. He’s the lawyer from Munger Tolles who is representing the MPAA. I’m no legal expert, but I’ve got eyes and the judge appeared to be more engaged when Williams addressed her. He didn’t drone on. He was well prepared and he simplified complex issues and technologies.”

The MPAA is being represented by Munger Tolles attorneys Ashley Aull, Lawrence Barth, Jonathan Blavin, Kelly Klaus, Rebecca Lynch, Bradley Phillips, Glenn Pomerantz, Rohit Singla and Bart Williams.