Dept. of Justice: Cablevision remote DVR should stay legal

1 06 2009

The US Solicitor General, Elena Kagan, used to be Harvard Law’s dean (and Charles Nesson’s boss). These days, though, she represents the US government before the Supreme Court. Her office has just told the court that it should not hear a case involving Cablevision’s remote storage DVR (RS-DVR)—which means that a previous appeals court ruling would stand and Cablevision would prevail.

The fight over the RS-DVR has gone on for years. Cablevision wanted to offer DVR services to its customers without shipping expensive gear out to every house. Instead, cable subscribers would access “their” DVR through the network, with all the gear residing in Cablevision facilities. But because Cablevision equipment was now making a copy of the TV content in question and retransmitting it to customers, networks sued for copyright infringement.

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