Legal Briefs

Atom Corp. VS.
Atom Corp. of Seattle, who run the online film company AtomFilms, and Venice, California-based Inc., another online entertainment community, announced late yesterday that they have settled their trade name, trademark and service mark dispute on mutually acceptable, confidential terms.

Due to the terms of the settlement agreement, neither party could comment on the dispute, and may have no further public comments regarding the issue.

By John Townley

Real Networks VS.
“You only sue the ones you love, the ones you shouldn’t sue at all…” That
paraphrased pop oldie seems to be echoing across the Net as companies first
sue each other, then go into business together.

Joining the litigious matrimonial tide Friday were RealNetworks Inc. and Streambox Inc., who settled the
federal lawsuit brought by RealNetworks against Streambox under the Digital
Millennium Copyright Act in December 1999.

RealNetworks claimed that the Streambox software suite illegally disabled
a copy protection system used to secure RealAudio and G2 streaming audio

The products in question were the Streambox Ripper, which converts CDs
into the well-known MP3 format and into Windows Media, and Streambox VCR,
which “records” RealNetworks audio streams for playback.

Under the settlement, which took place in the Federal District Court for
the Western District of Washington, Streambox will develop future products
that will operate in conjunction with RealNetworks’ copy protection
features. Specifically, Streambox agreed that it will modify its Streambox
Ripper and StreamboxVCR products to bring them in line with the copy
protection feature in RealSystem.

RealNetworks will provide Streambox with a license to the RealSystem
Software Development Kit, which Streambox can use to create future versions
of Streambox products that will respect RealNetworks’ copy protection

As part of the settlement, Streambox also agreed to stop distributing the
Streambox Ferret program, which altered the search functionality on
RealNetworks’ RealPlayer, and to pay RealNetworks an undisclosed sum of

In a statement released by the company, Streambox indicated that it has
emerged from the legal battle as the “clear winner because the product
not enjoined in the ruling, Streambox Ripper, was the only product
that was actually being sold. Streambox VCR was in beta test mode and Ferret
was a free plug in that was given away. The ruling allows Streambox to
continue the development of Streambox VCR.”

RealNetworks noted that it, too, is pleased with the ruling.

“RealNetworks has a great track record of working with hundreds of
developers around the world and we have now set the stage for a productive
relationship with Streambox,” said Steve Banfield, general manager for
RealPlayer,. “Streambox’s innovations will be welcomed by their many users
and the more than 140 million unique registered users of RealPlayer

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