-- RealNetworks has dropped its appeal and reached a settlement with movie studios over the copyright protection issues in its RealDVD technology. Real will pay $4.5 million for the studios’ fees and litigation expenses and also agrees to cease distributing its DVD copying product. In addition, Real will give a refund to about 2,700 customers who purchased RealDVD. (Bloomberg)


-- Thumbplay has launched an all-you-can-eat subscription service for Blackberry handsets. Matt Rosoff from Digital Noise gave it a test drive and has mostly favorable things to say. Sound quality is good over both 3G and WiFi, he wrote, the search process is easy and the autoplaylist function is “excellent.” However, the catalog has some holes and the search process can be buggy. “To sum up,” he concluded, “if you've got a BlackBerry and aren't satisfied with your musical options on the device today, Thumbplay is definitely worth trying, but bang on it a lot to make sure you're satisfied before subscribing.” (Digital Noise)


-- The AFL-CIO executive council adopted a statement that shows its unwavering support for the fight against piracy. “The AFL-CIO fully supports entertainment workers, and stands behind them in the fight against the theft of the products they work on and create,” stated AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka. “It’s critical for all union members to support any actions possible in the fight against piracy.” (Press release, via Music Tech Policy)


-- Will the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, currently being negotiated in Mexico, alter US law? No, says Ron Kirk, U.S. Trade Representative, to Sen. Ron Wyden. “We do not view the ACTA as a vehicle for changing U.S. law,” wrote Kirk. “We are also cognizant of the desire in Congress for flexibility in certain areas, and have worked to shape relevant U.S. proposals to provide appropriate flexibility." (Copyrights & Campaigns)


-- Thinking about authoring a Rock Band track? You may want to let the experts do it. “After 45 hours of work over six weeks, my song is one of the 118 approved to be in the RBN Store when it launches,” wrote Brian Hazard. His experience as a mastering engineer and familiarity with “Rock Band” gave him a head start. “Even so, without the expert guidance of the folks at creators.rockband.com, my song never would’ve made it through the pipeline.” (Music Think Tank)