Well, you knew this was coming: TV networks Fox, Universal, Paramount, Disney, CBS, ABC and NBC have all joined forces in a lawsuit against the fifth-biggest cable operator in U.S., Cablevision, over its controversial network DVR.
Network DVR is a centralized recording sysem, where the recording itself is stored at the cable system, not on a hard drive in the consumer’s home. The system will require little more than a software download directly to the existing set top boxes.
The networks’ position: by transmitting programs stored on its own servers, Cablevision is essentially creating a new on-demand service without paying licensing fees.
For those who remember, Time Warner Cable planned a similar service in 2003 called
Maestro Mystro but abandoned it over copyright concerns…Cablevision thinks it has a strong case: like Tivo and other DVR, it records separate copies of a show for each user as they request it. Subscribers get 45 hours of hard drive space and can record only two programs at a time.
Meanwhile, other cable operators, including Comcast COO Steve Burke and Time Warner Cable CFO John Martin said in March that if Cablevision’s remote DVR service works, their companies likely will follow suit.
Reuters: Cablevision countered: “This lawsuit is without merit, reflects a fundamental misunderstanding of Cablevision’s remote-storage DVR and ignores the enormous benefit and well-established right of viewers to time-shift television programming…We hope and expect the court will allow our customer-friendly technological approach to move forward.”
We’ll link to the lawsuit as soon as we find a link…
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