Parks Associates Blog

Thursday, August 07, 2008

RS-DVR Now Legal ... So Now What?

Monday's ruling from the 2nd Court of Appeals found that Cablevision's Remote Storage DVR (RS-DVR) service was not in violation of copyright law, overturning a March 2007 ruling. The RS-DVR feature allows subscribers to have DVR-like functionality without a set-top box, as Cablevision itself hosted the storage. I had commented on the original ruling in this blog post last year.

While Cablevision may be free to now restart the RS-DVR services, I wonder how much they'll actually do so. It seems that much has changed in the cable industry in just over a year, and a significant focus of the cable providers is how to leverage advanced technology to build their lagging ad revenues. This is the whole reason behind the Canoe Venture, where the major cable operators are pulling resources to develop advanced advertising technologies aimed at interactive and targeted advetising and more refined audience measurement, and hope to not only leverage it in building their internal ad revenues, but also in licensing the technologies to cable programmers and advertisers alike.

It would seem to me that the last thing the cable industry wants to do now is to antagonize its content partners, nor does giving subscribers even greater ability to skip commercials seem to be in its best interest. I would suspect that, although the industry is free to pursue RS-DVR development, that we'll continue to see the operators focus more on services such as ad-supported video-on-demand programming and developing interactive and targeted ad solutions.

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