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Cablevision, common sense win network DVR appeal

Nilay Patel
08.04.08
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The process took over a year, but it looks like common sense prevailed in Cablevision's appeal of its network-DVR copyright infringement case. You might remember that Cablevision had planned to roll out "remote-storage" DVRs a couple years ago that would play programs off Cablevision servers instead of storing shows locally, but shelved the plan when the networks sued over the concept, claiming that separating content storage from playback would essentially constitute rebroadcast and infringe on their copyrights. The networks won the first round, but it seems like the technical distinction between local and remote storage wasn't enough to convince the Second Circuit Court of Appeals that Cablevision was "broadcasting" anything -- the court just lifted the injunction barring Cablevision from supplying remote DVRs to its customers. We're still big fans of managing our own content locally, but this is definitely a win for the consumer, as it'll mean cheaper equipment costs and hopefully a larger selection of media available on demand -- too bad we're also betting that the networks will try and appeal this one to the Supreme Court.

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