A Ruling May Pave the Way for Broader Use of DVR

What You Should Have Read, August 5, 2008

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A Ruling May Pave the Way for Broader Use of DVR

The New York Times reports that The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in New York said Monday that network digital video recorders, which record programs on a faraway computer rather than on the device itself, do not violate copyright law. The ruling, a turning point in a two-year legal battle, represented a major victory for Cablevision, which wants to offer network DVR services through its existing set-top boxes. It also dealt a significant blow to the media companies that had sued to stop the technology, which include Turner Broadcasting, 20th Century Fox, CBS, ABC, NBC and others. The media companies will now consider appealing to the United States Supreme Court. Network DVRs could add recording functionality to the tens of millions of digital set-top boxes in living rooms and bedrooms across the country, and only a simple software upgrade would be needed. Tom Rutledge, Cablevision's chief operating officer, called the decision a "transformative opportunity" for the cable industry. Network DVRs could prop open the door to new methods of advertising, including insert ads dynamically, customizing and updating commercial pods for different consumers and at different times.
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