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Television The Courts

High Court Allows Remote-Storage DVR System 112

Posted by kdawson
from the score-one-for-the-cable-guy dept.
Immutate and several other readers noted that Cablevision will be allowed to go ahead with deploying a remote-storage DVR system, when the US Supreme Court declined (without comment) to hear an appeal of a lower court ruling that went against movie studios and TV networks. (We discussed this case a few months back.) "Cable TV operators won a key legal battle against Hollywood studios and television networks on Monday as the Supreme Court declined to block a new digital video recording system that could make it even easier for viewers to bypass commercials. The justices declined to hear arguments on whether Cablevision Systems Corp.'s remote-storage DVR system would violate copyright laws. That allows the... company to proceed with plans to start deploying the technology this summer."
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High Court Allows Remote-Storage DVR System

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  • I don't get... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Darkness404 (1287218) on Monday June 29, 2009 @09:40PM (#28523029)
    I don't understand why cable networks think that we need to pay for their content twice. I mean, I'm already paying for their content via the cable subscription fee so why should I even have ads? Either get rid of the licensing fees or get rid of the ads. This is like paying for a "premium" website only to get hit by pop ups on every page. I mean, I could even understand an ad or two at the start and after the end of the program, but why do they think they need to have 9 minutes of ads for every show when I'm already paying for their content?
    • Re:I don't get... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by QuantumG (50515) * <qg@biodome.org> on Monday June 29, 2009 @09:43PM (#28523055) Homepage Journal

      Because they can.

      If a significant number of people quit their service and gave the feedback "there's just too many ads for a pay service" then maybe something would get done about it. But they don't.

      • Re:I don't get... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Darkness404 (1287218) on Monday June 29, 2009 @09:55PM (#28523147)
        The problem with that is... cable bundling. Theres about 5 networks I watch regularly, and out of them about 2 have way too many ads that I would give up watching them if I could send feedback. However, if I cancel those networks, I end up canceling the 3 other networks that I do watch.
        • Re:I don't get... (Score:4, Interesting)

          by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Tuesday June 30, 2009 @09:30AM (#28527293) Homepage Journal

          The problem with that is... cable bundling.

          The problem with that is... YOU.

          If you want the cable company to sell you cable a la carte then you need to cancel your cable subscription, and tell them why.

          By paying for those channels, you are voting for paying for those channels.

          Since people can clearly survive without television, I am not interested in your excuses. When you buy a product you don't want, you clearly are showing us that you want that product. You obviously want those channels, or you wouldn't pay for them.

          If you're getting local cable so you can watch your local community college's educational station, then you have a valid complaint. Otherwise, you are the problem.

          • If you want the cable company to sell you cable a la carte then you need to cancel your cable subscription, and tell them why.

            They've sabotaged that option also through evil pricing.
            Our basic package includes at least 50 channels (we watch about 10 of them) along with 100/10 unthrottled internet. The extra package we get from our cable company costs about 9eur/month and provides about 10 channels or so (I forget - we only watch 4 of them). If you want, you can actually buy single channels a la carte, at 5eur/month each. Some cost more, of course, such as the dumber sports channels & all porn channels. If we got just the chann

        • by Sloppy (14984)

          However, if I cancel those networks, I end up canceling the 3 other networks that I do watch.

          It sounds like you've decided that keeping those 3 networks is worth it; you prefer keeping the existing arrangement over ending the arrangement.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by antdah (1057288)

        For someone who only has access to the free channels, I was really surprised when I realised this. I don't get it, the networks expect people to pay them good money for access to their channels and then suffer through commercials?
        And these guys wonder how people have the morale to pirate their shit...

        I just read the other day, but now I can only find this link, that there are studies suggesting that DVR's are actually good (or at least do no harm) to ads. Television Week: Study Says DVRs, Ads Can Co-Exist [mombu.com]

        • by DRACO- (175113)

          DVR's are nice to have. I tend to watch a commercial only the first few times it's on. I mostly only view them for their theatrics as most likely the product being pitched is either 1 not of any interest to me or 2 way out of my price range. It's nice to skip commercials I've seen before or otherwise don't have a need for. Pool supply ad.. skip.. Advertizement for the latest BMW.. skip.. Ad for reptile expo in a nearby city.. replayed.. Ad for oxy-banana.. skip.. Ad for dell pc.. skipped, replay and ski

      • You're assuming the men in the big suits are smart enough to make that connection. They also have a local monopoly so the only alternative consumers have to cable is satellite. Not exactly they competive evironment that makes companies compete for their lunch.
    • Re:I don't get... (Score:5, Informative)

      by Starlon (1492461) on Monday June 29, 2009 @09:56PM (#28523157)
      That's how Cable started out -- free of commercials. People got greedy though.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by CyDharttha (939997)

        That's how the Web started out - free of commercials. People got greedy though.

        :-)

      • by kenh (9056)

        What are you talking about? Cable started out as CATV, which stood for Community Antenna TV back in 1948 when it started, to share one antenna for many sets, typically in a housing development or apartment complex, then it evolved into what we now know as cable TV. There was never a time when CATV or Cable TV were commercial-free, since it always carried broadcast TV stations which were commercial.

        • by Starlon (1492461)
          Yes, they always showed broadcast stations, but the remainder of the stations for the most part were commercial free, and that's what people felt they were paying for, not the stations you could tune in over your bunny ears.
          • by HTH NE1 (675604)

            I remember watching Nickelodeon as a kid. No commercials. If they needed to fill time for a show that ran short, they'd throw in educational shorts like identifying the stars in the constellation of Orion or an occasional music video (Fish heads, fish heads / Roly-poly fish heads / Fish heads, fish heads / Eat them up, yum!).

            If I had kids, I wouldn't let them watch the Nickelodeon of today.

    • Re:I don't get... (Score:5, Informative)

      by basementman (1475159) on Monday June 29, 2009 @09:58PM (#28523169) Homepage
      Actually TV and Internet costs aren't that different. I pay a monthly fee for the line that goes to my house for both TV and Internet. When I watch a TV show I see commercials, and when I go to most websites I see ads. The only difference is that TV ads are far more obstructive to the content.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by mrbcs (737902)
        Obligatory hosts file reply:

        Get this, http://www.mvps.org/winhelp2002/hosts.htm [mvps.org] don't forget to go Start->Run->services.msc -> shut off dns client.

        The only ads you'll see are the ones served from the site you're on. Helps protect against phishing sites too.

      • Hmmm... that preview thing does its job. I was going to write: "There is quite a big difference in the costs. In the case of cable the revenue from the ads is going to the access provider - so you are paying the same person twice for the content. In the case of internet you are paying for access, and then you are paying the content provider."

        But I'm sitting watching an ad-free channel on cable right now and I realise that I'm talking complete crap. The revenue goes to the channel, and they are often differe

      • by IBBoard (1128019)

        The other difference is who the money goes to, surely?

        For TV, you pay the cable/satellite TV supplier, they pay the 3rd party channels (I presume), you watch the content, the content has adverts, the advert money goes to the channel, the content creator just sees the purchase price of the show by the channel.

        For the Internet you pay the provider of the pipes (or at least your account on the pipes), they pay sod all to the website owners, you view the content, the content sometimes has adverts, the money goe

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by BitterOak (537666)

      I don't understand why cable networks think that we need to pay for their content twice. I mean, I'm already paying for their content via the cable subscription fee so why should I even have ads?

      You're not paying twice for the same thing; you're paying for two different things. Cable companies do not pay networks to rebroadcast their signals, so your cable bill does not cover the cost of producing TV shows. What your cable bill pays for is the service they provide: installation and maintenance of the cables that go to your home, etc.

      The exception to this rule is premium channels, where a portion of your fee does go to the network, which is why you don't see commercials on the movie channels, for

      • Re:I don't get... (Score:5, Informative)

        by sangreal66 (740295) on Monday June 29, 2009 @10:09PM (#28523261)
        While the gist of what you are saying is correct, it is not accurate to say that "Cable companies do not pay networks to rebroadcast their signals." Cable providers pay a per-subscriber fee to the networks they carry, from a few cents to a few dollars.
        • by GooberToo (74388)

          Which is exactly why everyone has 100 channels no one wants or watches and why carte blanche cable/satellite is not allowed. They are buying package discounts.

          Anyone who believes the fees we all pay to our cable/satellite company doesn't pay for the content we watch is very uninformed. Advertising is simply additional profit for the networks and/or cable/satellite companies.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Cylix (55374)

        Actually,

        Cable companies can and do pay for non-premium networks. The idea is fairly straight forward. If you need more viewers and your product is not so much in demand you might not charge for the product. More often then not these "less demanded" networks are packaged together with more appealing networks. Common sense comes into play here... if you can get someone to pay for your product then you will most likely elect to produce additional revenue where possible.

        This applies to both network and broadca

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Pentium100 (1240090)

      I don't know how this stuff works in the US, but where I live, the cable operator just catches the TV programs off the air or via some cable or satellite (I don't work for a cable company so don't know for sure), converts it to analog and sends both analog and digital versions trough the cable to my home. There is no difference between a channel that I can get off the air and the same channel on cable (except the reception quality). The commercials are part of the original program, so if the cable company w

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by AuMatar (183847)

        In the US there's 4 or 5 OTA channels (CBS, NBC, ABC, FOX, and maybe a PBS or WGN). Cable gives you dozens or hundreds of channels that aren't ever broadcast OTA. It's those channels that they're arguing should be commercial free.

      • Re:I don't get... (Score:4, Informative)

        by Cylix (55374) on Monday June 29, 2009 @10:14PM (#28523325) Homepage Journal

        In the US, a cable company cannot re-transmit at will.

        It requires a re-transmission agreement or the broadcast originator files a "must carry" clause with the cable op.

        Must carry is used in place when the cable company does not carry your broadcast signal and they do not want to negotiate rates.

        A re-transmission agreement is simply a contract with whatever terms and length both parties can agree on. Top rated stations generally opt for cash and services from the cable company.

        • I don't know what does the cable company have to do to be able to retransmit channels, but they do it. I can see all (or almost all) OTA channels in my country and foreign channels (for example a lot of Russian ones, also Discovery, History, TV1000 etc).

        • by icebike (68054)

          Not exactly.

          Must Carry channels are local broadcasters who might be locked out of the cable system had not they gotten together and lobbied congress to force cable companies to carry them.

          Without must carry rules, many subscribers in small markets would have to (and would probably gladly) forgo local programming.

          In exchange for forcing their way onto the cable system, they must provide their signal free of charge to the cable providers.

    • You can just quit cable if you don't like. If there are enough people like you then things will change.
    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Because the Cable Company (e.g. Time-Warner) is charging your for *access* to Content Providers (e.g. TBS) who sell ads. Time-Warner gets paid for the access, TBS gets paid for the ads.

    • What? They do both in the US? WTF?

      I thought the point of pay-TV was, that there were absolutely no ads. Why else would I pay them anything?

      Oh, well, I'm a bit out of what's new in that branch. I haven't had a TV since 2003/4, and I don't know why I would want one.
      Even Slashdot is better than sitting in front of the TV. I could not stand not being able to comment on a show. I can't even stand it on the sites of traditional news companies. I just stop reading them, because it feels so top-down of them, to onl

    • by jpallas (119914)

      I don't understand why magazine publishers think that we need to pay for their content twice. I mean, I'm already paying for their content via the magazine subscription fee so why should I even have ads? Either get rid of the subscription fees or get rid of the ads. This is like paying for a "premium" website only to get hit by pop ups on every page. I mean, I could even understand an ad or two at the start and after the end of an article, but why do they think they need to have pages of ads for every issue when I'm already paying for their content?

    • by sumdumass (711423)

      The channels without adds usually cost $10 to $20 a month. Your monthly fee for 46 or more channels of nothing worth watching isn't near that high.

      think about that. 40 channels at $10 per month, $400 for nothing you haven't seen already or that doesn't make you tired and want to puke.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Arcady13 (656165)
      Nine minutes of ads would be great. That's what you got in 1969 on a one hour show. In 2009, you get 18 minutes of ads per hour. Yes, your "hour-long drama" is really 42 minutes. And your re-run of Star Trek TOS is missing 9 minutes of material, not including the "previously on" and "coming next week" spots that are also cut.

      By 2039, the show will be 9 minutes long and you'll have 51 minutes of ads. And fast-forward will be illegal.
      • Nine minutes of ads would be great. That's what you got in 1969 on a one hour show.

        My memory is a little fuzzy from the late 1960's and all of the 1970's, but nine minutes per hour in 1969 sounds a little bit high.
        I'm not looking for an argument or debate here, just if you know where to find this info, I would truly appreciate a link. Really! :-)

        My fuzzy memory is only coming up with around seven minutes per hour, but again, I readily admit my fuzzy memory may be off base here.

        To be honest, the only thing I truly remember from TV of 1969 with any clarity, is the Apollo 11 moon landing:
        Spr

    • by sub67 (979309)
      My understanding is that it isn't so much the cable operators as it is the broadcasters that insert advertisements. Yes, cablecos do, but basically the cable operator pays the broadcaster to show their content. The broadcaster sets aside x minutes of time for advertising. Cable company says "whoa, we're paying you to advertise? fuck that.". Broadcaster then offers a portion of the time they've set aside for advertising to the cable operator and all but the consumer is happy!
    • Are you from the US? There's no such thing as free rebroadcasting here. You're not paying for "their" content; they don't have any content. (Okay, maybe the lame help I've never seen a remote control before channel and local public access stuff is theirs, but by and large the content is licensed to them by others.) The cable companies are paying for rebroadcast rights for other people's content and passing that cost on to you. Also, unlike over the air broadcasting, cable networks actually cost money to mai

    • by bentcd (690786)

      I don't understand why cable networks think that we need to pay for their content twice. I mean, I'm already paying for their content via the cable subscription fee

      No, you're not. You are paying for 40% of their content via the subscription fee.

      so why should I even have ads?

      To cover the remaining 60%.

      (Numbers are examples only. Actual percentages may vary from network to network.)

    • why do people pay for cell phone service / a data plan, and then pay to download ring tones, wallpapers, etc.? paying for bandwidth and content isn't unique to cable TV.
    • by Sloppy (14984)

      I don't understand why cable networks think that we need to pay for their content twice.

      They don't think you need to; they think you're willing to. And millions of people say that the cable companies are correct. They vote with their wallets every month. (Are you one of them?)

  • by itsybitsy (149808) * on Monday June 29, 2009 @09:41PM (#28523037)

    Yikes you mean you can record a show off of tv and watch it at a different location? Wow what an innovation... oh, wait, I used to do that with Video Tape (VHS) all the time... time shifting shows too... location shifting them is no different...

    Before you know it you brain cells will have to pay a fee for SEEING a show. Oh wait, that's known as a movie theater...

    Before you know it you'll have to pay a fee every time you REMEMBER a show you saw on TV. Now that's scary.

    • Before you know it you'll have to pay a fee every time you REMEMBER a show you saw on TV.

      I'm torn. I think it's revolting that corporations would sue over parodies and covers [slashdot.org]. At the same time, I wish that the MPAA'd go after everybody who makes those tired shark-with-frickin'-lasers jokes on Slashdot.

  • by speedlaw (878924) on Monday June 29, 2009 @09:59PM (#28523183) Homepage
    So the content providers sue the cable company for remote caching of shows. They really won this. Now, if the show is on a server somewhere, things like ad skip can't be disabled. There's no web page of hacks and work arounds for the "cable box". While the cable company was looking at this as two million remote boxes in homes versus a server farm, the content providers, stuck in 1965 where they played and you watched when they said to, freaked. They will figure out they won this as soon as they charge 5 cents per delayed broadcast...all passed on to the viewer, of course. Oh yes, that "dvr" fee is not going away, even if the DVR does.
  • From the article...
    Movie studios, TV networks and cable TV channels had argued that the service is more akin to video-on-demand, for which they negotiate licensing fees with cable providers.

    Isn't this exactly what video-on-demand is? Downloading a movie locally that is held at the cable company's location? (DirecTV acts that way with their DVR. You have to download it). If so, the ruling may mean license fees are unneeded.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Jason Pollock (45537)

      There is a difference between the two situations.

      In the VOD situation, the operator is making a preemptive copy, and then rebroadcasting that copy when the customer requests it. The operator decides what is to be recorded and made available.

      In the PVR situation, the end customer decides what is recorded, and what is played back and stored.

      The question becomes, since the customer already has the right to make a time-shifted copy of a TV show (Sony v. Universal), the question hinges on whether or not the net

  • MythTV is awesome (Score:5, Insightful)

    by drewzhrodague (606182) <drew@zhrTWAINodague.net minus author> on Monday June 29, 2009 @10:11PM (#28523283) Homepage Journal
    MythTV works for me. It already eats the commercials from the recorded shows, and with simple scripts, I can encode old Star Trek shows onto my iPhone. If you haven't used it recently, I suggest taking a look. MythTV [mythtv.org].
    • by Dan667 (564390)
      Yes. The automagically skipping commercials is the killer feature. You controlling the media content and how you view it is the way to go.
      • Commercials, Reality TV, Soaps and other shit like this is the reason that I threw out my cable years ago.
        When I wanna watch something now I download it.
        I simply refuse to let them cram their crap down my throat.

        • by Dan667 (564390) on Tuesday June 30, 2009 @09:06AM (#28526979)
          If you record it with MythTV and play it back when you want and it automagically skips all the commercials you get to see what you want, when you want. That is unlike services like hulu that force you to watch it only on certain browsers and force you to watch commercials.
          • If you record it with MythTV and play it back when you want and it automagically skips all the commercials you get to see what you want, when you want.

            How does it know what's a commercial and what isn't? Would it detect a product-placement-fest film such as The Wizard for what it is, a 90-minute commercial for the Nintendo Entertainment System?

          • hehe, being dutch, I can't even use Hulu and I don't have the expertise to use mythtv, I'll stick to torrents here :)

    • I use MythTV exclusively for my TV viewing, and I don't even strip out the commercials. Every now and then, there is a good or interesting commercial that I want to see. I do, however, skip through the commercials quickly. It takes my eye a tiny fraction of a second to tell me that I just skipped over something that might be interesting, so I'll go back and check it out. So instead of sitting through an intolerable five minutes of commercials every ten minutes, I sit through about four seconds of commer

      • Same here, pretty much. I use MythBuntu.

        If I'm watching live television, and I know the length of a show, say an hour long show, I'll just start the channel, immediately hit pause, then go do something else for about 20 minutes, then come back, and watch the show.

        (There's always something productive I could be doing for that first 20 minutes, dishes, laundry, whatever.)

        When I get to the commercials I just use the fast-forward function, since the commercial detection isn't running. The only trouble I have is

  • On the one hand I'm hoping that with a central office based DVR solution we won't be limited by tuners to how many shows we can record - three programs on at the same time? No problem! Set a recording from one cable box and want to watch it in another room? No problem!

    However, if the new central DVR service is run through their existing Pay Per View software then the user interface (at least on Comcast) is just awful. Based on how laggy the remote is with PPV I think this is also the death of channel sk

    • by Cylix (55374)

      This is not quite the experience I've had with similar services. The cable box's interface is complete ass, but I was surprised at how responsive fast forward and rewind actually was.

      I originally believed it was caching to my cable pvr unit.

      Then I found out about the unencrypted channels and individuals reporting they were watching the forward and rewind of users.

      • by jank1887 (815982)

        I would think FF and Rew would work off of local cache. hence they could be locally responsive.

    • by sprior (249994) on Monday June 29, 2009 @10:42PM (#28523539) Homepage

      More predictions. The cable companies are going to end up recording one of everything so "recording" something on the DVR is just a matter of keeping a pointer, so the next big fight is going to happen when a cable company allows you to "record" a show after it has already ended and the content producers cry foul.

      And more control will be exercised as to how long you can keep a recording. Those Battlestar Galactica episodes you've been keeping on your DVR for 6 months? Um, no.

      • by Stray7Xi (698337)

        The cable companies are going to end up recording one of everything so "recording" something on the DVR is just a matter of keeping a pointer

        That's just compression. They're actually recording 100 separate copies for their customers, but since they're all identical they compress *really* well... You make pointers sound like it's a bad thing ;)

        • by sprior (249994)

          I don't have any problem with them recording everything and happen to love pointers. As a consumer I'd love being able to "record" a show which already ended. I'm just saying that some cable company is going to try to offer it someday and the content providers are going to go nuts.

      • Actually, the Cablevision opinion discusses this hypo and distinguishes it based on whether there are copies made for each viewer or just one copy multiple members of the public share.

        In the first case (what happened in this case), it's not a "public" performance and thus doesn't implicate the public performance right of copyright owners. However, the latter instance (your pointer hypothetical) is a public performance, and is thus presumptively a direct infringement of copyright.

      • No, it's still your DVR. You can keep your recordings on it until you run out of space. Each cable account will have its own designated storage account, with access to programs recorded based on your cable subscription level. This is the only way it works, as Cablevision was forced earlier in the litigation to argue a 1:1 relationship in order to avoid the direct infringement of public performances. Whether, in fact, their data storage system keeps bit-for-bit separate copies for each account or just an

  • This is a very good example of fair use.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    ... tagged "no thigh court"? ;)

  • by hamburgler007 (1420537) on Monday June 29, 2009 @10:36PM (#28523497)
    No matter which party prevailed in this case, the average citizen wouldn't win. Both parties are only interested in making money, and as much of it as they can get away with.
    • by e9th (652576)
      Yes. The case was simply about whose pocket your money goes into.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Sp1n3rGy (69101)

      Since when is capitalism so unpopular?

      If I'm evil for trying to turn a buck, then the US is in a shameful state for sure.

      I guess you are right. Let's move to China where... wait... umm, they like the Benjamins as well. Russia? Ohh wait, that was almost 20 years ago. How about the moon? Yeah!

  • In the 1980's there was a case pf a video rental store providing a home theater room for renters to play their rented tapes. A court ruled that this crossed the line into the territory of public exhibition of copyrighted material, and it was disallowed.

    It is interesting that this case does not cross the line into the territory of retransmission.

  • A few thoughts... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    No one has mentioned "Betamax decision" yet, have they?

    The Betamax decision primarily dealt with timeshifting, this is space- and time-shifting, is it not?

    The only issue is whether this will be harmful or not. While VCRs weren't necessarily harmful, because people kept watching TV as much as they'd normally have done, will this be harmful in any way?

    Can't it be justified that as long as the commercial time is being sold at the current price rates it currently is sold at, it won't have a negative affect on s

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by dean.collins (862044)
      I'm actually suprised how little press attention has been paid to this court ruling. This could be a very very big thing if applied to other digital content. http://deancollinsblog.blogspot.com/2008/08/cloudification-of-your-content.html [blogspot.com]
      • Indeed, I wonder if this will end up biting cable companies in the ass in the long term. In-home DVRs and slingbox-type devices are getting cheaper and cheaper. Will they go a-suing a customer for "excessive use of services" just to be overturned by their own case law?

        • No, because this case has nothing to do with "excessive use of services" and everything to do with interpretation of the exclusive rights granted to a copyright owner by section 106 of 17 USC.

      • I'm actually suprised how little press attention has been paid to this court ruling. This could be a very very big thing if applied to other digital content. http://deancollinsblog.blogspot.com/2008/08/cloudification-of-your-content.html [blogspot.com]

        Me too. I was even surprised at how little attention Slashdot paid to it. Half the people on Slashdot complain all the time about the MAI decision; here was a decision limiting the MAI decision's scope. (I wish the Court had simply rejected the MAI court's reasoning, but maybe it will do that one of these days in another case).

  • There was no constitutional issue here. Content owners can just go tell Congress to tweak copyright laws a bit and bingo! All fixed.
  • I'm not a legal expert but the flood gates aren't quite wide open. Referring to No. 08-448 [usdoj.gov] around page 21.

    The Second Circuit repeatedly explained that its rejection of petitioners' public-performance claim depended on a range of factors: not only that each transmission would be sent to a single recipient, but also that (1) each transmission would be made using a unique copy of the relevant program; and (2) each transmission would be made solely to the person who had previously made that unique copy. See, e.g., Pet. App. 30a-31a, 36a, 39a, 41a.

    If I read this right the cable operators are in for one hell of a bill in both storage and replication hardware to create duplicate copies for each user request. Storage is cheap, but since there are also legal (and relatively short) limits on how long you can buffer something before it counts as a copy this tends to complicate scalable data replication. Not impossible, just adds extra cost and comp

    • by sproot (1029676)

      unique copy of the relevant program

      And if the two unique copies are differently named hard links to the same data blocks?
      Do you think the legal system can differentiate between that and a duplicate set of data blocks?

    • by russotto (537200)

      If I read this right the cable operators are in for one hell of a bill in both storage and replication hardware to create duplicate copies for each user request. Storage is cheap, but since there are also legal (and relatively short) limits on how long you can buffer something before it counts as a copy this tends to complicate scalable data replication. Not impossible, just adds extra cost and complexity. Which no doubt will be passed on.

      Maybe, and maybe not. The reason the court distinguished transmissio

  • No, they did not allow it. Nor did they disallow it. They declined to hear the case. In all but a few situations, the Supreme Court has discretionary jurisdiction, and can decline to hear a case for a variety of reasons. Sometimes they want to wait until multiple circuits have considered an issue. Sometimes they think the time is ripe for the Court to settle an issue, but the particular case up for review is not a good vehicle for that review, and so waits for a better case. Sometimes they just don't think

  • Cable companies will have DVR farms, one for each channel, sucking up every show, every day, and making, say, the last 24-48 hours of shows available for free, in case you miss a show, but after hearing about it at work/school, you want to watch it. In addition to the default 24-48 hour retention, subscribers will also be able to submit requests for certain shows, and those requested shows will be retained until there is no more interest. The cable company could also update the commercials in their "slots"

    • by IBBoard (1128019)

      It wouldn't bee that big a complex, really, retaining two days of shows for a channel is what, about 50 Gig at "best quality"?

      That depends. With half of the channels we get on Sky in the UK (satellite) then you're probably talking more like a quarter of that amount by the time you remove the incessant repeats!

  • ...new digital video recording system that could make it even easier for viewers to bypass commercials.

    Skipping commercials is NOT the only reason to use a DVR. While that may be a great feature, for my family, it's secondary to time-shifting and an integrated, searchable on-screen program guide. Being able to find the shows we want to watch, record them, and watch them in any order when WE want to really is the key to good DVRs.

    I've been using DVRs since mid 1999 when the first ReplayTV boxes came out. Sin

    • i have also become way out of touch with ways to increase my lovemaking potential, sexy chat lines, and cures to my thinning hair.
  • "High Court Allows"

    What bullshit. Denial of certiorari by the Supreme Court expresses literally zero opinion about the merits of the case. This is another example of the MSM getting Supreme Court procedure wrong. I've seen this "victory" touted elsewhere. It's not a victory except inasmuch as those claiming victory were assured a loss if the Supreme Court granted cert.

    It would be a victory of SCOTUS issued cert and then issued a per curiam opinion affirming the COA decision. That did not happen, and thus th

    • by HTH NE1 (675604)

      So this doesn't mean we are ripe for AllOfMP3.com to return?

      • Inasmuch as Allofmp3.com was based in Russia, I can hardly see how a US court decision could have any bearing whatsoever on its legality.

        But even if it did apply, this decision does not make AllOfMP3-style services legal.

        I do have a paper I wrote on something very similar. I'm finishing it this summer and submitting it for publication in a journal in August-September. You can bet that once (if) it's selected for publication, I'll be whoring it out on Slashdot. ;)

        • by HTH NE1 (675604)

          Yeah, I was mistaken on the site name. There was another site though that hosted MP3s for people for playback over the net. You only had to provide proof of ownership of a CD and it would provide pre-ripped MP3s (thus only having to store one copy of any track). If a CD wasn't available, it would rip yours and provide it to others who could prove ownership. I think RIAA threats caused it to shut down without going into the legal system or settlement.

          I still can't think of its name.

          • That's My.MP3.com. No, it's not coming back. There's a similar service that is legal under my analysis in the forthcoming article. Check out MP3tunes [mp3tunes.com]. If its system is set up the way I recall it is, it will withstand a copyright infringement lawsuit, both direct and secondary.

    • having read the opinion and cited its reasoning extensively in a law review article I just authored

      Here [beckermanlegal.com]'s a copy of the decision for those of you who might not have read it.

      As to the reporting of it, most reporters usually report it that way. Lawyers (and law students) know that a denial of certiorari is not an affirmance, but merely a decision not to review the decision.

    • As a practical matter, in this case, the Supreme Court has "allowed" Cablevision to proceed with its online DVR program.

      Judge Chin "forbade" it; the Second Circuit "allowed" it; and the Supreme Court "allowed" the Second Circuit decision to be the final word.
      • That's a fair way to compromise between my unfair, Legal Nazi-style complaining of armchair lawyers and the common meaning of "allow."

        NYCL, doubling as Slashdot Mediator!

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