RealNetworks Plays The Role Of Internet Bully

    August 26, 2011

While researching this topic, something occurred to me: who uses RealPlayer anymore to begin with? And so, after a quick jaunt over to RealNetworks Twitter page, I noticed they only have about 3700 followers. By comparison, Winamp, a RealPlayer competitor from those Internet days of yore, has over 7000.

Apparently, Winamp is still whipping the llama’s ass, if the llama in question is the oft-maligned RealPlayer.

As you well know, these are small amounts in the grand scheme of Twitter, and it should clue you into just how popular the service is. Granted, they’ve expanded from the days of being known as the streaming video player that brought the word “buffering” to popularity, but even with the new services, they can’t escape their past, something Oh Internet expands on quite nicely.

Now, as if to add to their sterling reputation, RealNetworks is suing a Dutch webmaster because he had the audacity to link to a free alternative to the RealPlayer, called Real Alternative. The webmaster in question runs a software downloads site, but instead of hosting these files, he simply links to places they can be downloaded.

Naturally, RealNetworks’ complaint has to do with trademarks and copyrights, but the question is, if they are truly worried about that, why not go after the developers of the Real Alternative instead of some webmaster who doesn’t have the same resources to defend himself?

Obviously, the answer lies in the question.

Instead of going after companies like CNet’s, a site that apparently hosts the program in question and Google, who has more links for “Real Alternative” than the webmaster being sued, undoubtedly, RealNetworks goes after the little guy, much like a bully who picks on the weaker of the bunch.

Apparently, going after the little guy is safer than getting your collective ass handed to you by Google’s legal team. That being said, we’re throwing down the gauntlet at WebProNews. This is us linking to a site that links to Real Alternative downloads, essentially the same thing the Dutch webmaster did. This should also give some insight into the lead image, which is defiance in the face of RealNetworks’ bullying strategy.

RealNetworks’ problem is with the developers of Real Alternative, not the people who link to the download. Considering the fact that RealNetworks have been around since 1995, you’d think they’d have a little bit more Internet/business savvy than…

Sorry, that last part of the article hasn’t downloaded yet because of buffering issues.