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AOL Time Warner Joins Sonicblue Plaintiffs

14 Nov, 2001 By: Staff Reporter

AOL Time Warner Inc. has joined other media giants in suing Sonicblue Inc. over its ReplayTV 4000 digital video recorder, which enables viewers to skip commercials and forward programs over the Internet.

AOL-TW's action comes less than two weeks after an identical complaint was filed in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles by the Walt Disney Co., Viacom and NBC. Both suits seek a preliminary and permanent injunction against alleged contributory copyright infringement and unfair business practices by Santa Clara, Calif.-based Sonicblue.

The recorder, which will soon begin shipping, "illegally copies plaintiffs' copyrighted works, strips them of commercial advertisements during playback and distributes them over the Internet to others," according to the AOL-TW suit filed Friday. Sonicblue has denied that the recorder is intended to subvert copyright.

Plaintiffs in the AOL-TW suit include subsidiaries Time Warner Entertainment Co., HBO, Warner Bros. Television, New Line Cinema and the WB Network.

--Jesse Hiestand for The Hollywood Reporter

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