Parks Associates Blog

Friday, March 23, 2007

Court Ruling on Cablevision's RS-DVR

A federal judge today ruled against Cablevision's Remote Storage Digital Video Recorder (RS-DVR), which was the cable company's experiment to move time-shifting capabilities from a home DVR to the company's own servers. In his ruling, the judge said that Cablevision would be involved in unauthorized duplications of the plaintiffs' (in this case, television programmers and movie studios) content. The tenor of the ruling seems to revolve around the fact that since the recording functionality itself wasnot located in a customer's private residence, but as a "service" in which Cablevision is "doing the copying," the judge couldn't approve of it under the well-established precedent of fair use.

If one holds to the theory that recording on a consumer's personal property is still protected under fair use notions, I wonder how the courts will react to the National Music Publishers' Association's (NMPA) lawsuit against XM Radio. If the recording is taking place at the device level (and not through XM's own network), wouldn't the courts have to reject the lawsuit based on the fair use precedent?

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