& cplSiteName &

Supremes Stand Clear of RS-DVR Case

Jeff Baumgartner
LR Cable News Analysis
Jeff Baumgartner
6/29/2009
50%
50%

Cablevision Systems Corp. (NYSE: CVC)'s controversial and ambitious RS-DVR was cleared for takeoff today when the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal from studios and networks that were trying to delay or stop the new service over copyright concerns.

Last month, the U.S. Department of Justice suggested that the Supreme Court keep its nose out of the case, arguing that it doesn't deserve the court's attention and that Cablevision's RS-DVR offers essentially the same functionality as a home-side VCR or digital video recorder. The Supreme Court asked the DoJ to weigh in on the RS-DVR matter in January. (See DoJ: Butt Out of Cablevision RS-DVR Case .)

Cablevision has long held that the same copyright rules governing VHS and DVR machines (via the 1984 "Sony Betamax" case) should also apply to the MSO's cloud-based approach. The RS-DVR requires customers to make their own recording requests and that the system writes individual copies of those recordings. For example, if 10,000 customers place a recording request for tonight's episode of The Bachelorette on ABC, the RS-DVR system will create 10,000 discrete copies for individual playback. [Ed. note: Then, I'm guessing, the system would vomit uncontrollably.]

Programmers and studios, including ABC, NBC Universal, and Paramount Pictures, filed a complaint in May 2006, claiming that the RS-DVR would infringe on their copyrights and wreak havoc on the TV ad model. Although a court originally ruled in favor of that position, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit reversed that lower court ruling in August 2008, holding that the RS-DVR, as designed, does not directly infringe copyright rules. (See Court Resurrects Cablevision's Network DVR , Inside Cablevision's 'RS-DVR' , and Net DVR Still Appealing for Cablevision.)

Summer launch a go
Cablevision recently revealed intentions to deploy the RS-DVR service sometime this summer. However, the MSO has yet to finalize a debut date or to set a price on the service, which will be capable of running on any of Cablevision's digital boxes. (See Summer Debut for Cablevision Network DVR.)

"This is a tremendous victory, and it opens up the possibility of offering a DVR experience to all of our digital customers," Cablevision COO Tom Rutledge said in a prepared statement. "At the same time, we are mindful of the potential implications for ad skipping and the concerns this has raised in the programming community," he added.

Rutledge said there are ways to make this model work for programmers, but didn't go into detail. Sources have told Cable Digital News that Cablevision may attempt to obtain licenses for the most popular content so that a single copy could be streamed to multiple subscribers. That scenario would help the MSO avoid placing too much stress on the RS-DVR's video ingest function, considered to be the system's Achilles' heel by some engineers. (See Cablevision Girds for Remote DVRs.)

More RS-DVRs on the way?
Now that Cablevision's RS-DVR appears to have cleared its final legal hurdle, other MSOs may give the concept a much closer look.

Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC) has already indicated that it was keeping a close eye on the Cablevision RS-DVR proceedings and might consider something similar. TWC has championed "Start Over," a quasi-network DVR that allows customers to restart some shows that are already in progress. The caveat is that the MSO has obtained permission for all the Start Over-enabled programs. To preserve the ad model, the fast-forward function is disabled for any programs viewed in Start Over mode.

"The engineering attraction of the network DVR is clear," TWC president and CEO Glenn Britt said last August during the company's second-quarter earnings call. "What isn't clear is the law." (See Time Warner Cable Eyeing Network DVR Case .)

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Cable Digital News

(5)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
DCITDave
50%
50%
DCITDave,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:01:45 PM
re: Supremes Stand Clear of RS-DVR Case


I wonder if telcos will add something like MSFT's Mediaroom Anytime feature as a competitive response.


http://www.lightreading.com/document.asp?doc_id=170029


"... a new feature, called Mediaroom Anytime, will allow TV viewers to go back in time and watch programs that have already aired, even if those programs weren't scheduled to be recorded on the consumer's DVR."

zbalint
50%
50%
zbalint,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:01:44 PM
re: Supremes Stand Clear of RS-DVR Case


On Editors note: [[Ed. note: Then, I'm guessing, the system would vomit uncontrollably.]


 


Does the ruling specify when individual copies need to be made? If not, then replication can be done at best as a background process, and at worst only when the subscriber actually requests the copy.


Vomiting is the job of engineers, upon receiving the requirement specification.


 

Jeff Baumgartner
50%
50%
Jeff Baumgartner,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:01:43 PM
re: Supremes Stand Clear of RS-DVR Case


The RS-DVR system that the ruling allows for writes all the individual copies when the live show airs so it comes pretty close the the rules already governing local VHS machines and DVRs.


Back when this thing was still in court, Cablevision explained in a filing how the system works.


 


 

DCITDave
50%
50%
DCITDave,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:01:43 PM
re: Supremes Stand Clear of RS-DVR Case


I don't know. I suspect making one copy per user was a way of replicating what's going on in the home at the network level, therefore making the "this is just like TiVo" argument apply.


The vomit comment was more related to the content than the system stress.

rjmcmahon
50%
50%
rjmcmahon,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:01:38 PM
re: Supremes Stand Clear of RS-DVR Case


It would be interesting to me for a lawyer with copyright expertise to compare this case with that of mp3.com.  Seems very similar and makes me wonder if these uses are eventually only to be resolved by the U.S. Supreme Court?

From The Founder
The independent evaluation of Nokia's key virtual network functions (VNFs) was a defining moment for the Finnish giant.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP’s Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it’s going from two industry veterans.
LRTV Custom TV
Cisco's Innovations in Cable

5|26|16   |   03:18   |   (0) comments


Marc Aldrich from Cisco discusses the latest in security, the evolution and momentum for CCAP and what the industry will be seeing next from Cisco.
LRTV Documentaries
Leading Lights 2016 Highlights

5|25|16   |   02:26   |   (1) comment


Some of the high points from this year's Leading Lights awards dinner at the Hotel Ella in Austin, Texas.
LRTV Documentaries
Light Reading Hall of Fame 2016

5|23|16   |   05:43   |   (0) comments


Find out who has been welcomed into Light Reading's Hall of Fame this year.
LRTV Custom TV
ZTE TM Forum Highlights

5|23|16   |     |   (0) comments


ZTE showcased its new ICT solutions at TM Forum in Nice.
LRTV Interviews
Gamma's MD on the Emergence of UC2

5|20|16   |     |   (0) comments


Gamma Communications Managing Director David Macfarlane believes the unified communications (UC) market has reached a tipping point.
LRTV Custom TV
The Ultimate 5-Minute Guide to Digital Customer Engagement

5|20|16   |     |   (0) comments


In this short video, you will hear all about how Digital Customer Engagement is the key to meeting customer expectations, keeping them happy, and maximizing revenue. VP Product & Marketing at Pontis, Ofer Razon, breaks down for us the five essential capabilities for successful Digital Customer Engagement. Don’t miss!
LRTV Custom TV
NFV in 2016: Part 1 – NFV Use Cases Get Real

5|19|16   |   05:57   |   (0) comments


Consensus is building around the key use cases for NFV, including managed IP services at the network edge and on customer premises, which can generate new revenues from enterprises/SMBs and consumers; Evolved Packet Core to support LTE migration; and adjacent technologies, such as TAS and IMS, to support VoLTE and next-generation charging and policy control ...
LRTV Custom TV
Nokia's Steve Vogelsang on NFV – Part 3

5|19|16   |     |   (0) comments


Steve Vogelsang discusses the challenges of operational transformation and how Nokia helps its customers. Join Steve at the Big Communications Event in Austin the morning of May 24, on his keynote and optical networking panel.
LRTV Interviews
Level 3: Why UC Is In Demand

5|17|16   |   04:12   |   (1) comment


Andrew Edison, Level 3's senior VP of sales, EMEA region, talks about the drivers of growth in the unified communications services market.
LRTV Custom TV
ARM's OPNFV Action

5|17|16   |     |   (0) comments


At the ARM booth at MWC 2016, Joe Kidder and Bob Monkman speak to Light Reading about OPNFV and their upcoming action.
LRTV Custom TV
Nokia's Steve Vogelsang on NFV – Part 2

5|16|16   |     |   (0) comments


Steve Vogelsang gives advice to service providers on how to move to NFV. Join Steve at the Big Communications Event in Austin the morning of May 24, on his keynote and optical networking panel.
LRTV Interviews
Interoute CTO on NFV's Maturity

5|13|16   |   06:46   |   (1) comment


Matt Finnie, CTO at international operator Interoute, explains how NFV has made life easier in terms of logistics and how Interoute can now enable a 'software-defined moment' for its customers.
Upcoming Live Events
September 13-14, 2016, The Curtis Hotel, Denver, CO
December 6-8, 2016,
June 16-18, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
A new survey conducted by Heavy Reading and TM Forum shows that CSPs around the world see the move to digital operations as a necessary part of their overall virtualization strategies.
Hot Topics
DT: Telcos Must Escape Vendor Prison
Iain Morris, News Editor, 5/24/2016
AT&T to Start 5G 'Friendly' Trial by 2016 End
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 5/24/2016
Cisco's Patel Hails 'Microculture' Successes
Iain Morris, News Editor, 5/26/2016
Cable Is Eyeing Its Retail Options
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 5/25/2016
AT&T's Margaret Chiosi Retires
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 5/25/2016
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
In this latest installment of the CEO Chat series, Craig Labovitz, co-founder and CEO of Deepfield, sits down with Light Reading's Steve Saunders in Light Reading's New York City office to discuss how Deepfield fits in with the big data trend and more.
Grant van Rooyen, president and CEO of Cologix, sits down with Steve Saunders, founder and CEO of Light Reading, in the vendor's New Jersey facility to offer an inside look at the company's success story and discuss the importance of security in the telecom industry.
Animals with Phones
Live Digital Audio

Our world has evolved through innovation from the Industrial Revolution of the 1740s to the information age, and it is now entering the Fourth Industrial Revolution, driven by technology. Technology is driving a paradigm shift in the way digital solutions deliver a connected world, changing the way we live, communicate and provide solutions. It can have a powerful impact on how we tackle some of the world’s most pressing problems. In this radio show, Caroline Dowling, President of Communications Infrastructure & Enterprise Computing at Flex, will join Women in Comms Director Sarah Thomas to discuss the impact technology has on society and how it can be a game-changer across the globe; improving lives and creating a smarter world. Dowling, a Cork, Ireland, native and graduate of Harvard Business School's Advanced Management Program, will also discuss her experience managing an international team focused on innovation in an age of high-speed change.