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May 26, 2006

Big Bad Hollywood Going After Cablevision's "Remote Access" DVR Plans

Awhile back we told you about Cablevision's plan to offer a "remote access" DVR. While we like the idea, we knew that Hollywood would want their say. According to

Four Hollywood studios and the three major television networks filed a copyright suit on Wednesday seeking to prevent Cablevision Systems Corp. from launching an "on-demand" service that aims to replace the living room digital video recorder.

The suit, filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, says Cablevision would run afoul of copyright law with its plan to allow subscribers to store and play back TV programs through computer servers controlled by the cable TV operator.

So what's the big deal about a "remote access" DVR? According to the the Hollywood Studios:

Individual consumers have long been free to record TV shows, movies and music for personal use. But Cablevision's so-called Network DVR service has raised objections from some content providers who say it puts control over their material into the hands of another company that has not paid for or licensed it.

"Cablevision is actually copying, storing and retransmitting it," said Kori Bernard, a spokeswoman for studio industry group the Motion Picture Association of America. "A commercial entity can't establish a for-profit, on-demand service without authorization from copyright owners whose content is used on that service," she said.

I kind of understand the Hollywood point of view but it really comes down to offering consumers more choices and I support Cablevision's attempt to do that. We'll keep a close eye on this battle which will probably develop into a full-scale war.


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Posted by William Hungerford at May 26, 2006 1:10 PM

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