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Television The Courts

High Court Allows Remote-Storage DVR System 112

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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  • 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: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:I don't get... (Score:2, Informative)

    by BitterOak ( 537666 ) on Monday June 29, 2009 @10:01PM (#28523201)

    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 instance, and why they're more expensive than basic cable.

  • Re:I don't get... (Score:3, Informative)

    by AuMatar ( 183847 ) on Monday June 29, 2009 @10:07PM (#28523251)

    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: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.
  • Re:I don't get... (Score:3, Informative)

    by Cylix ( 55374 ) on Monday June 29, 2009 @10:11PM (#28523287) Homepage Journal


    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 broadcast television.

  • 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.

  • Re:I don't get... (Score:3, Informative)

    by mrbcs ( 737902 ) on Tuesday June 30, 2009 @12:05AM (#28524073)
    Obligatory hosts file reply:

    Get this, [] 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.

  • by harlows_monkeys ( 106428 ) on Tuesday June 30, 2009 @06:00AM (#28525875) Homepage

    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 the case is important enough compared to the other cases competing for their time.

The last thing one knows in constructing a work is what to put first. -- Blaise Pascal