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Cablevision loses case over RS-DVR plan

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 23 Mar 2007 22:54 User comments (5)

Cablevision loses case over RS-DVR plan Judge Denny Chin of the U.S. District Court in Manhattan has ruled in favor of several Hollywood studios and television networks in the case over Cablevision Systems Corp.'s plan to create a network-based digital video recorder for its customers. Several Hollywood studios and television networks owned by Time Warner, Walt Disney Co., CBS and News Corp. claimed that Cablevision's plan would breach U.S. copyright laws.
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.

While other cable operators had supported the idea for the system, the judge sided with Hollywood, finding that Cablevision storing recorded programs on their servers for their customers would break copyright agreements with content providers. "The RS-DVR is clearly a service, and I hold that in providing this service, it is Cablevision that does the copying," Chin said in his ruling.

He dismissed a counterclaim by Cablevision, which argued that the technology was no different than digital video recorders in a living room. "The RS-DVR is not a stand-alone machine that sits on top of a television," Chin said. "Rather, it is a complex system that involves an ongoing relationship between Cablevision and its customers."


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5 user comments

124.3.2007 5:38

This judge is an idiot.

224.3.2007 7:49

Everybody has a price

324.3.2007 14:48

I am sorry but how diffrent is this from plugging a DVR into a cable box and recording shows?

424.3.2007 19:11

That doesn't make any sense, they could simply require them to track the data. Really, they should just let them do it, it's sounds like the same thing as a DVR

I never could figure out why you have to have a monthly service for a DVR anyway. It escapes me why there wouldn't be a way to set it like a VCR to record programs just like people have been doing for years. With old technology.

Oh yeah, then TiVo and the cable companies couldn't ream the average consumer on a daily basis. As much.

524.3.2007 19:39

I agree that this would be a good move for Cablevision, any other company that followed suit, and ultimately consumers. A company that records every single stream it has access to can offer it's customer something that brings us closer to true On Demand programming.

And that's exactly why the Judge ruled against it. When the consumer decides to time shift a particular show or shows it is the consumer initiating the action and acting upon the rights that a consumer possess. It's called timeshifting.

This consumer right does not neccessarily translate to company rights. I think that Cablevision would have maybe found a different outcome had they only said that they would record ONLY what a consumer tells them to AND if they would have provided a different recording for EACH consumer who requested it. While this is most certainly a much bigger pain in the butt for Cablevision, and in reality it could essentially still be recording every feed they relay as long as there was a consumer requesting that feed be timeshifted for them. The extra effort that this would require costs the company more money, the consumer more money, and doesn't bring any additional revenue to hollywood for their shows.

Basically the idea was a Win-Win-Neutral idea that can only be implemented as a Lose-Lose-Neutral offering. Once again if they don't get something, or come out on top, even when it DOESN'T hurt them.. they still feel the need to stick it to the consumer!

Way to show your true colors yet again Mr Media Mafia!

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