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Joss steps down at Stanford

Lewis and Clark High School graduate Robert Joss will step down as dean of the Stanford Graduate School of Business at the end of the 2008-2009 academic year, the university announced last week.

Joss, 67, has headed Stanford’s graduate business program, among the nation’s most prestigious, since 1999. During his tenure, a new MBA program was launched, school endowment tripled to more than $1 billion and construction began on a new campus.

Joss was student body president at LC, class of 1959, and the University of Washington, where he earned an economics degree. He received his master’s and doctorate at Stanford, then moved to Washington, D.C., where he spent three years at the White House and Treasury Department.

Joss said he will remain at the business school as chairman of its fundraising committee.

Los Angeles

Studios sue RealNetworks

Hollywood’s six major movie studios on Tuesday sued Seattle-based RealNetworks Inc. to prevent it from distributing DVD copying software that they said would allow consumers to “rent, rip and return” movies.

The studios stand to lose a key revenue source if consumers stop buying DVDs and copy rental discs from outlets like Netflix and Blockbuster instead.

The suit, filed in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, alleges RealNetworks’ RealDVD program, which launched Tuesday, bypasses copyright protection built into DVDs.

For $30, consumers can buy RealDVD and use it indefinitely to copy DVDs to computers or portable hard drives, though the program prevents them from transferring files to other users. The maker calls RealDVD “100 percent legal” on its Web site.

“This is not a product that enables Internet piracy,” said Bob Kimball, general counsel for RealNetworks.

From wire reports