Court OKs Cablevision's Network DVR


Washington -- A federal appeals court ruled Monday that Cablevision Systems Corp. can roll out its network-based digital video recorder, saying the company's technology for recording TV shows and movies for viewing by cable subscribers does not violate copyright law.

The U.S. Court of Appeals the 2nd Circuit, reversing a lower court, said Cablevision's remote DVR service did not directly infringe on the copyright interests of the Cartoon Network, Cable News Network and various Hollywood studios that sued the Long Island-based cable operator.

In addition to rulings in favor Cablevision, it lifted an injunction that barred Cablevision from using the technology pending appeal. Cablevision first announced plans to use the technology in 2006.

“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,” said Cablevision COO Tom Rutledge. “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.”

In the short run, the court ruling will allow thousands of Cablevision customers to use their legacy digital set-top boxes as DVRs.