High Court Seeks DOJ Input Regarding New Cablevision DVR12 Jan, 2009 By: Erik Gruenwedel
The U.S. Supreme Court Jan. 12 formally requested input from the Department of Justice whether to take up a legal challenge over a proposed digital video recording service from New York-based Cablevision Systems Corp.
In 2006, a group of entertainment studios and TV networks filed a lawsuit against Cablevision alleging that its planned DVR service violated their copyrights.
Unlike TiVo and other cable-based DVR services, Cablevision's service would allow subscribers to record and store programming on the company's server instead of a set-top box.
The plaintiffs, which include 20th Century Fox, Universal Studios, Paramount Pictures, The Walt Disney Co., and TV networks ABC, CBS and NBC, claimed such an arrangement circumvented “simultaneous broadcast” license agreements that forbid cable companies from storing content and repurposing it for a fee without a separate license.
Last summer a Philadelphia appeals court overturned a previous ruling disallowing Cablevision from commencing with its service.
The Court requested a decision from the pending U.S. solicitor general in President-elect Barack Obama’s administration.
Obama reportedly nominated Elena Kagan, dean of Harvard Law School, to be his solicitor general. She has yet to be confirmed by Congress.
A Cablevision spokesperson declined comment.