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Cablevision Appeals DVR Ruling

10 Apr, 2007 By: Erik Gruenwedel

As expected, Cablevision Systems Corp. April 10 announced it would file for an expedited appeal of a federal judge's decision last month prohibiting the Bethpage, N.Y., cable operator from operating a network-based digital-video-recorder (DVR) service.

Cablevision CEO Tom Rutledge said his company's DVR operated similarly to any DVR on the market, which is to enable consumers to time-shift television programming.

“We continue to believe strongly that remote-storage DVR is permissible under current copyright law and offers significant benefits to consumers including lower costs and faster deployment of this popular technology to our digital cable consumers,” Rutledge said.

Cablevision, which owns Madison Square Garden and its sports teams, the New York Knicks (NBA), Rangers (NHL) and Liberty (WNBA), has about 3 million subscribers in New York City, Connecticut and New Jersey.saidLast year, a group of entertainment companies filed a lawsuit against Cablevision alleging that its planned DVR service violated their copyrights.saidUnlike TiVo and other cable-based DVR services, Cablevision's service would have allowed subscribers to record and store programming on the company's server instead of a set-top box.saidConventional DVR devices allow for only the storage of content on the user's individual set-top box.saidThe 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.

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