Apple and friends hit with C&D for "actively avoiding" use of DRM tech

Here's a new one on us. Instead of suing companies for infringing on its patents, like all the cool kids are doing, Media Rights Technologies has sent cease and desist letters to Apple, Microsoft, RealNetworks and Adobe for "actively avoiding" the use of its technology. According to MRT, the DMCA's language on copyright protection circumvention -- defined as "to descramble a scrambled work, to decrypt an encrypted work, or otherwise to avoid, bypass, remove, deactivate or impair a technological measure, without the authority of the copyright owner." -- requires those companies to use its product, since its X1 SeCure Recording Control technology has been proven to plug the "digital hole," and therefore allows them to uphold the DMCA. "We've given these four companies 10 days to talk to us and work out a solution, or we will go into federal court and file action and seek an injunction to remove the infringing products from the marketplace," says CEO Hank Risan. RealNetworks spokesman Matt Graves calls the letters "a rather novel approach to business development," and lawyers are calling the effort "out there" and "a play for publicity." We call it a riot, and while it's not likely to go far -- not even the far-reaching and vaguely worded DMCA is likely to hold this one up for long -- we're at least grateful to MRT for mixing things up a bit in the boring old tech lawsuit game.