Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Appeals Court Ruling May Mark "A Seismic Shift"

This is a real opportunity to transform television.

-Tom Rutledge, chief operating officer of Cablevision

In Chad Bray, and Vishesh Kumar, "Cablevision Wins Appeal on RS-DVR," Wall Street Journal, August 5, 2008

The 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on Monday, August 4, that that a lower court judge was wrong last year in ruling that Cablevision would violate copyright laws if it created a remote-storage digital-video-recorder (DVR) system. With a remote-storage DVR system, customers would not need DVRs in their home. They would to simply click through to their area on the cable company's DVR and record or access their shows. This approach benefits cable firms because they wouldn't have to spend lots of money to order, store, deliver and repair home DVRs. Broadcast and cable networks and the companies that supply them with programs are against this activity, though, because the lower DVR costs would entice even more consumers than now to record shows and then skip the commercials while watching them. Media firms might appeal the ruling to the Supreme Court, but if it holds, said one Wall Street analyst, it is "a seismic shift" for the media industry.

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