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Cablevision Cleared for Remote Storage DVR

1 Jul, 2009 Response This Week

BETHPAGE, N.Y. – The U.S. Supreme Court declined to review a Court of Appeals ruling upholding Cablevision’s right to record TV shows for customers on remote servers. The victory for Cablevision in the remote storage-DVR litigation will allow the company to offer this service to all of its digital cable customers and will inherently have an affect on other cable service operators.

Cablevision Systems Corp. released a statement in glowing support of the decision. Chief Operating Officer Tom Rutledge acknowledged in the statement that there could be serious implications for so many customers skipping ads. However, “we believe there are ways to take this victory and work with programmers to give our customers what they want – full DVR functionality through existing digital set-top boxes – and at the same time, deliver real benefits to advertisers,” says Rutledge.

He adds, “This landmark case gives the cable industry, and Cablevision in particular, the opportunity to do something that our satellite competitors cannot do. We expect to begin deploying the first application of this new technology, the ability to pause live television when the phone rings, as a value-added benefit to our customers later this summer.”

In 2006, Cablevision announced its plan to offer customers a way to record programming on remote servers rather than on their home recorders. Almost immediately, television networks and studios complained that this was a copyright violation not carved out in earlier cases. Plaintiffs included CBS, Fox, NBC Universal, Turner, Viacom and Walt Disney. The studios won an injunction against Cablevision in U.S. district court, but the decision was overturned by the Second District Circuit Court of Appeals last year.

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