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Cablevision postpones networked DVR

Evan Blass

Under heavy pressure in the form of a lawsuit filed by nearly all of TV land's major content providers, industry giant Cablevision has announced that it will delay the rollout of its networked DVR offering until the service's legality is confirmed in court. The lawsuit, filed by the four key networks and their parent studios, claims that Cablevision's plan to store customers' recorded swag on their own servers as opposed to local set-top boxes constitutes a retransmission of copyrighted material, and therefore violates pre-existing agreements the company has with its providers. Cablevision, on the other hand, argues that networked DVR services are only facilitating "fair-use" of their broadcasts by consumers, who have already paid for any programs they intend to record. The outcome of this suit will be closely monitored by other players in the cable industry as well, because a victory for Cablevision would allow Cox, Comcast, et al. to begin offering their own remote storage -- good news for consumers, but perhaps bad news for our old friend TiVo.

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