Cablevision appeals network DVR ruling

May 3, 2007

Cablevision Systems, the New York-area cable operator, has appealed the recent federal court ruling that blocked its deployment of a network digital video recording (DVR) service.

In a case being closely watched by content owners and the cable TV industry, Cablevision has sought an expedited review of the case by the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. It argues that the lower court misapplied copyright law in banning its operation.

If Cablevision wins, the victory could jump-start a wide range of remote storage personalized recording services throughout the industry.

Cablevision's technology allows any subscriber with a digital set-top box to record, store and playback programs from computer servers owned and maintained by the operator. Typical DVR services require the user to purchase special equipment — like TiVo devices — to do the recording on a local drive in the subscriber's home.

Cablevision was sued by a group of Hollywood content owners who claimed the remote-storage service amounted to an additional broadcast of their programming. The lower court judge agreed with their argument.

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