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01.25.2004
Originally featured on BroadcastEngineering.com
EFF helps protect ReplayTV clients

A federal court put a stop to a case brought by five ReplayTV digital video recorder (DVR) owners after 28 entertainment companies promised not to sue them for copyright infringement for using the “commercial advance” or “send show” features on their DVRs.

"Skipping commercials is not illegal and neither is sending television shows from your home to your office, as one of our clients does," said Gwen Hinze, a staff attorney with the consumer advocacy group Electronic Frontier Foundation. “We're pleased that we were able to protect our clients against unjustifiable copyright claims for exercising their fair use rights.”

The EFF had asked the court to give affirmative relief to all owners of ReplayTV DVRs with commercial skipping and “send show” features that allow them to share digitally recorded programs. The court declined to do so on the grounds that the entertainment companies promised not to sue and have indicated no intention to sue any of the other owners. The court did, however, leave open the possibility of relief in the event that the entertainment companies change their position.

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