Cablevision Gets Ok For Remote DVR

    August 4, 2008

A federal appeals court has ruled that Cablevision Systems Corp can move forward with its plan to launch a new digital video recorder (DVR) service that film studios and television networks said would infringe on their copyrights.


Today, the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals in New York ruled Cablevision’s plans to introduce a remote-storage DVR system did not violate copyright laws.

"In sum, because we find, on undisputed facts, that Cablevision’s proposed RS- DVR system would not directly infringe plaintiffs’ exclusive rights to reproduce and publicly perform their copyrighted works, we grant summary judgment in favor of Cablevision with respect to both rights," U.S. Circuit Judge John M. Walker Jr. wrote.

The company appealed a March 2007 ruling in which it lost its case to launch a network-based DVR system, called Remote Storage Digital Video Recorder, which allowed customers to store content on Cablevision’s computer servers.

A standard DVR stores content on individual hard drives that are part of a consumer’s set-top box.

The appeals court said it was sending the case back to the U.S. District Court in New York for more proceedings.

"This is a tremendous victory for consumers, which will allow us to make DVRs available to many more people, faster and less expensively than would otherwise be possible," Tom Rutledge, Cablevision’s chief operating officer, said in a statement.

"We appreciate the Court’s perspective that, from the standpoint of existing copyright law, remote-storage DVRs are the same as the traditional DVRs that are in use today," he said.