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SONICblue Moves Ahead With Plans to Ship Its Controversial ReplayTV 4000 DVR This Week

27 Nov, 2001 By: Hive News

SONICblue Inc. claimed victory in round one of a copyright battle with three major television networks and forged ahead Tuesday with plans to ship its controversial ReplayTV 4000 personal video recorder, according to an Associated Press report.

ABC, NBC and CBS sued SONICblue last month, claiming the company's ReplayTV 4000 and Go-Video Dual-Deck VCR devices violated copyright laws by letting consumers record TV programs without commercials.

The networks dropped the infringement claim against the Dual-Deck VCR in an amended complaint filed last week in federal court in Los Angeles. But a key portion of the suit -- allegations that the ReplayTV 4000 lets users distribute illegal copies of television programs and record the shows ad-free -- remains.

According to the AP, SONICblue officials characterized the move as a first-round victory and a partial legal retreat, whilethe networks said they were simply narrowing the case to the 'Send Show' and 'AutoSkip' features in the ReplayTV 4000.

The ReplayTV 4000, the first Internet-ready personal digital video recorder, has not yet been released for sale to the public, the AP said, and the networks are asking the court to prevent that. But no court dates have been set yet, and Santa Clara, Calif.-based SONICblue, which acquiredReplayTV Inc. this year, said it will start shipping the product to online customers this week.

Four models available for sale from the SONICblue Web site range in price from $699 to $1,999.

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