Light Reading
All systems are go for Cablevision's 'remote-storage' DVR after US High Court passes on hearing an appeal led by networks and studios

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
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?

Educational Resources
sponsor supplied content
Educational Resources Archive
Flash Poll
From The Founder
It's clear to me that the communications industry is divided into two types of people, and only one is living in the real world.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Dr. Dong Sun Talks About Carriers' Digital Transformation & Huawei’s Telco OS

1|29|15   |   6:28   |   (0) comments


Dr. Dong Sun, Chief Architect of Digital Transformation Solutions at Huawei, discusses how telecom operators can become digital ecosystem enablers and deliver optimal user experiences that are in real-time, on-demand, all-online, DIY and social (ROADS).
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Chief Network Architect Talks about Network Experience & Operators’ Strategies

1|29|15   |   3:39   |   (0) comments


In the digital age, network experience has become the primary productivity especially for telecom operators. In this video, Wenshuan Dang, Huawei’s Chief Network Architect, discusses how carriers can tackle the challenge of infrastructure complexity in order to enhance business agility and improve user experience.
LRTV Documentaries
The Rise of Virtual CPE

1|27|15   |   01:38   |   (4) comments


As NFV strategies evolve from tests and trials to production telco networks, expect to hear a lot about virtual CPE (customer premises equipment) rollouts during 2015.
LRTV Documentaries
Optical Is Hot in 2015

1|23|15   |   01:56   |   (2) comments


Optical comms technology underpins the whole communications sector and there are some really hot trends set for 2015.
LRTV Custom TV
Policy Control in the Fast Lane

1|22|15   |   2:57   |   (0) comments


What's making policy control strategic in 2015 and beyond? Amdocs talks with Heavy Reading's Graham Finnie about the key factors driving change in the data services landscape. Find out what his policy management research reveals about the road ahead for policy control – and sign up for
LRTV Documentaries
Highlights From the 2020 Vision Executive Summit

1|21|15   |   4:33   |   (2) comments


In December 2014, Light Reading brought together telecom executives in Reykjavik, Iceland to discuss their vision for high-capacity networks through the end of the decade. The intimate, interactive meeting was set against the backdrop of Iceland's spectacular natural beauty. As one of the event's founding sponsors, Cisco's Doug Webster shared his company's ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Pay-TV Partner Harmonic, Helping Carriers Accelerate 4K Video Deployment with Huawei

1|20|15   |   5:42   |   (1) comment


At IBC, Peter Alexander, Senior Vice President & CMO at Harmonic, speaks about the growing interest in pay-TV service and its branching into multiple devices.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Sony Marketing Director Olivier Bovis Discusses the Outlook for 4K and Cooperation With Huawei at IBC 2014

1|20|15   |   6:50   |   (0) comments


At IBC, Olivier Bovis, Marketing Director of Sony, speaks about the coming of the 4K era.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Pay-TV Partner Envivio, Helping Carriers Accelerate 4K Video Deployment

1|20|15   |   2:57   |   (0) comments


At IBC, Olivier Bovis, Marketing Director of Sony, speaks about the coming of the 4K era.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Pay-TV's Networked Future

1|20|15   |   6:29   |   (0) comments


At IBC, Jeff Heynen, Principal Analyst at Infonetics, speaks about the future of the pay-TV industry and its transition.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Jeff Heynen: Distributed Access Will Help MSOs Compete in the Future

1|20|15   |   2:26   |   (0) comments


At IBC, Jeff Heynen, Principal Analyst at Infonetics, speaks about moving to distributed access and the future trend of cable business.
LRTV Interviews
Cisco Talks Transformation

1|20|15   |   13:02   |   (0) comments


In December 2014, Steve Saunders sat down with Cisco VP of Products & Solutions Marketing Doug Webster at Light Reading's 2020 Vision executive summit in Reykjavik, Iceland. They spoke about Cisco's approach to network virtualization as well as how service providers can begin to monetize high-capacity networks through the end of the decade.
Upcoming Live Events
February 5, 2015, Washington, DC
February 19, 2015, The Fairmont San Jose, San Jose, CA
March 17, 2015, The Cable Center, Denver, CO
April 14, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City, NY
May 12, 2015, Grand Hyatt, Denver, CO
May 13-14, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 8, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9, 2015, Chicago, IL
September 9-10, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
November 11-12, 2015, The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
December 1, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City
December 2-3, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City
Infographics
Hot Topics
Google Continues Gigabit Expansion
Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Gigabit Cities/IoT, 1/27/2015
Cablevision's New WiFi Try – Freewheeling Enough?
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 1/26/2015
LightSpeed Looks to Plug the Gigabit Gap
Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Gigabit Cities/IoT, 1/23/2015
Overture Builds on NFV Foundation
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 1/27/2015
NTT DoCoMo Takes on Retail Broadband
Robert Clark, 1/29/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Weekly Executive Interview
Join us live for Light Reading's interview with Jay Samit, the newly appointed CEO of publicly traded SeaChange International Inc. With a resume that includes Sony, EMI, Universal, Intel and Microsoft, Samit brings a reputation as an entrepreneur and a disruptor to his new role at the video solutions company. Hear what he has to say about the opportunities in video, as well as the outlook for cable, telco, OTT and mobile service providers.