The ruling by the US Court of Appeals is a setback for News Corp., Time Warner, Walt Disney, CBS, and NBC, which sued to prevent the system’s debut. They claimed the service, Remote Storage Digital Video Recorder, threatened their copyrights.
The network DVR system allows cable customers who don’t have digital video recorders, such as those made by TiVo, to record programmes on central hard drives housed and maintained by Cablevision at a remote location. The users can then get a playback of those shows through their TV sets, using a remote control and a standard cable box. Cablevision, which operates in the New York area, said the system replicated the function of a video recorder and thus was permitted under copyright law.
Motion Picture Association of America, the movie industry’s lobbying group, is reviewing the decision and will consider all options, according to an e-mailed statement. “We will continue to take the steps we believe are necessary to protect our legal rights with regard to our content.”
News Corp argues the planned service amounted to a way to provide a new “public performance” of each show or movie recorded and played back. They said that meant Cablevision would need their permission to use their copyrighted material