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Dvr Movement Copyright Paper 2006

  • Date Submitted: 11/03/2013 04:02 PM
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Cablevision’s DVR Movement Could Change Copyright Law
On May 24, 2006 several major movie studios; Fox, Universal, Paramount and Disney, along with television networks CBS, NBC and ABC filed an injunction with the U.S. District Court in Manhattan to prevent Cablevision from continuing its testing of a new service dubbed “RS-DVR” (remote storage DVR). Two days later on May 26, 2006 two additional parties (CNN and Cartoon Network) joined the lawsuit against Cablevision’s new service.
      Testing of the service had been implemented in 1,000 households in the New York and Long Island area in March. The service was scheduled for full release later this year to their entire digital cable subscriber base. Cablevision entered a countersuit on June 6th 2006 and has agreed to the suspend testing pending the outcome of the lawsuits. There was a provision as part of their agreement to suspend testing and the U.S. District Judge Denny Chin ordered a “fast-track” legal process. This will allow the both parties rapid summary judgments and a limited discovery phase with the case ready to be heard on or about Oct. 31st. Although hurdles have been cleared in order to obtain an expedited decision there is much speculation that the case could drag on for some time, ultimately presenting itself before the Supreme Court.
The issue at hand is whether Cablevision’s new service is infringing on the networks and studios copyrights by recording programming and allowing their subscribers access the recorded programming on the their own network servers at a later time.
Cablevision contends that the service adheres to the fair use precedent in the 1984 Supreme Court ruling on the case of Sony V. Universal Studios (“Betamax case”) when it ruled personal use of the time shifting device used to record broadcast television programs for later viewing was fair use. Fair use gives consumers limited used of copyrighted material, such as making personal copies of purchased movies and music...

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