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EFF supports CableVision's RS DVR plan

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 11 Jun 2007 16:06 User comments (3)

EFF supports CableVision's RS DVR plan The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), along with a coalition of public interest groups, trade associations, and businesses, urged a federal appeals court Friday to overturn a damaging lower court ruling that puts companies that provide remote computing technologies at risk of copyright infringement liability. The ruling involved CableVision's plan to create a Remote Storage Digital Video Recorder for its users.
The Remote Storage DVR, or RS-DVR, would have meant Cablevision wouldn't have to install hundreds of thousands of digital set-top boxes in subscribers' homes. The company has already installed more than 500,000 set-top boxes in customers' homes, and the planned RS-DVR would have saved the company a substantial amount from administration and maintenance costs by allowing users to remotely store recordings instead.

Twentieth Century Fox, the Cartoon Network, and other television networks filed suit, and a district court in New York ruled against Cablevision, reasoning that Cablevision, not its customers, was making the copies. That ruling has now been appealed by Cablevision.

"The Supreme Court has already ruled that consumers have a fair use right to time-shift TV shows," said Fred von Lohmann, EFF Senior Intellectual Property Attorney. "It should not make a difference whether the copies are stored inside their set-top boxes or back at Cablevision headquarters."

"Both consumers and the enterprise are increasingly enjoying the benefits of remote computing capabilities, relying on services like Amazon's EC2, Google Apps, and Apple's .Mac, for processing power, applications, and data hosting," said von Lohmann. "It can't be the case that these companies are automatically liable for every copyright infringement committed by every user, whether they know about it or not."

Source:
EFF

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3 user comments

111.6.2007 18:50

The lower court ruling is also very bad for the environment. Instead of a single server being able to provide programming for dozens of homes, each home will now have one (or more) DVRs, burning a lot more energy.

212.6.2007 6:09

Originally posted by garr:
The lower court ruling is also very bad for the environment. Instead of a single server being able to provide programming for dozens of homes, each home will now have one (or more) DVRs, burning a lot more energy.
... then, when the DVRs are rendered obsolete, taking up landfill space and leaking heavy metals into the groundwater supply.

330.7.2007 23:38

Having a DVR makes it that much easier to put whole seasons of TV shows on DVD rather than waiting to buy the boxed set.

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