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Appeals Court Says Cablevision Network DVR Can Go Forward

The 2nd Circuit ruled in favor of Cablevision in a copyright infringement suit over a proposed new DVR service.

Cablevision Systems can introduce a new digital video recorder service that film studios and television networks said violated their copyrights, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York has ruled, overturning a lower court ruling, Reuters reported.

The 2nd Circuit said that Cablevision's proposed digital video recorder service "would not directly infringe plaintiffs' exclusive rights to reproduce and publicly perform their copyrighted works."

Film studios and television networks, including Twentieth Century Fox and Cartoon Network, had sued Cablevision in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York for copyright infringement, after Cablevision attempted to introduce a network-based DVR system in March 2006. The district court ruled against Cablevision in March 2007.

The system, called Remote Storage Digital Video Recorder, would allow users to store recorded programs on Cablevision's computer servers. Other DVR services record programs to hard drives built into users' set-top boxes.

"This is a tremendous victory for consumers, which will allow us to make DVRs available to many more people, faster and less expensively than would otherwise be possible," Tom Rutledge, Cablevision's chief operating officer, said in a statement, Reuters reported.

"We appreciate the Court's perspective that, from the standpoint of existing copyright law, remote-storage DVRs are the same as the traditional DVRs that are in use today," he said.

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