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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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  • by Jason Pollock ( 45537 ) on Monday June 29, 2009 @10:09PM (#28523269) Homepage

    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 network operator is able to make a copy for the customer. Is it the customer making the copy, or the operator?

    Now, there were some strange bits in the arguments, both sides avoided what would appear to be obvious defences (see the previous slashdot discussion), but that's what it boils down to.

    To see how strange it was getting, they were talking about how long the video was stored in buffers in the device - too big a buffer and it becomes the operator creating a copy.

  • 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.

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

    by Arcady13 ( 656165 ) on Tuesday June 30, 2009 @01:18AM (#28524541) Homepage
    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.
  • Re:I don't get... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by antdah ( 1057288 ) on Tuesday June 30, 2009 @04:54AM (#28525605)

    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 (television) []
    For those of you who understand Swedish: MMS (Mediamätning i Skandinavien) has some info on it [], and they also encourage you to visit, I did this, and the results are interesting. []

  • Re:A few thoughts... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by dean.collins ( 862044 ) on Tuesday June 30, 2009 @07:20AM (#28526237)
    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. []
  • Re:I don't get... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by drinkypoo ( 153816 ) <> 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.

The Force is what holds everything together. It has its dark side, and it has its light side. It's sort of like cosmic duct tape.