Light Reading

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?

Educational Resources
sponsor supplied content
Educational Resources Archive
Flash Poll
From The Founder
Last week I dropped in on "Hotlanta," Georgia to moderate Light Reading's inaugural DroneComm conference – a unique colloquium investigating the potential for drone communications to disrupt the world's telecom ecosystem. As you will see, it was a day of exploration and epiphany...
Between the CEOs
Affirmed Networks CEO: Digging Into NFV

5|28|15   |   40:26   |   (2) comments


Hassan Ahmed, CEO of Affirmed Networks, is making some big claims for his NFV startup. I sat down with him at the Light Reading HQ in New York City to get the skinny on what this Acton, Mass.-based startup is up to.
LRTV Documentaries
Cable Eyeing SDN for Headend, Home Uses

5|26|15   |   05:57   |   (1) comment


CableLabs is looking at virtualizing CMTS and CCAP devices in the headend, as well as in-home devices, says CableLabs' Karthik Sundaresan.
LRTV Documentaries
Verizon's Emmons: SDN Key to Cost-Effective Scaling

5|22|15   |   03:53   |   (0) comments


For Verizon and other network operators to ramp up available bandwidth cost effectively, they need to move to SDN and agree on how to do that.
LRTV Documentaries
Lack of Universal SDN a Challenge

5|21|15   |   04:51   |   (3) comments


Heavy Reading Analyst Sterling Perrin talks about how uncertainty about SDN standards and approaches may be slowing deployment.
LRTV Custom TV
Steve Vogelsang Interview: Carrier SDN

5|20|15   |   05:02   |   (0) comments


Sterling Perrin speaks to Steve Vogelsang, Alcatel-Lucent CTO for IP Routing & Transport business, about the new Carrier SDN-enabling Network Services Platform and the operator challenges it solves.
LRTV Custom TV
Carrier SDN: On-Demand Networks for an On-Demand World

5|20|15   |   20:52   |   (0) comments


Steve Vogelsang, Alcatel-Lucent CTO for IP Routing & Transport business, talks about requirements and benefits of Carrier SDN during the keynote address at the Light Reading Carrier SDN event May 2015.
LRTV Documentaries
The Security Challenge of SDN

5|19|15   |   02:52   |   (0) comments


CenturyLink VP James Feger discusses concerns that virtualization could create new vulnerabilities unless network operators build in safeguards.
LRTV Custom TV
NFV Elasticity – Highly Available VNF Scale-Out Architectures for the Mobile Edge

5|18|15   |   5:50   |   (0) comments


Peter Marek and Paul Stevens from Advantech Networks and Communications Group talk about their NFV Elasticity initiative and the company's latest platforms for deploying virtual network functions at the edge of the network. Packetarium XL and the new Versatile Server Module: 'designed to reach parts of the network that other servers cannot reach.'
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Bay Area Spark Meetup 2015

5|14|15   |   3:54   |   (0) comments


Developed in 2009, Apache Spark is a powerful open source processing engine built around speed, ease of use and sophisticated analytics. This spring, Huawei hosted a meetup for Spark developers and data scientists in Santa Clara, California. Light Reading spoke with organizers and attendees about Huawei's code contributions and long-term commitment to Spark.
LRTV Custom TV
The Transport SDN Buzz

5|12|15   |   06:01   |   (1) comment


Sterling Perrin, senior analyst at Heavy Reading, speaks with Peter Ashwood-Smith of Huawei and Guru Parulkar of ON.Lab about the evolution of transport SDN and the integration of technologies.
LRTV Custom TV
Next-Generation CCAP: Cisco cBR-8 Evolved CCAP

5|5|15   |   04:49   |   (0) comments


John Chapman, Cisco's CTO of Cable Access Business Unit and Cisco Fellow, explained the innovation design of Cisco's cBR-8, the industry's first Evolved CCAP, including DOCSIS 3.1 design from ground-up, distributed CCAP with Remote PHY and path to virtualization. Cisco's cBR-8 Evolved CCAP is the platform that will last through the transitions.
LRTV Custom TV
Meeting the Demands of Bandwidth & Service Group Growth

5|1|15   |   5:35   |   (0) comments


Jorge Salinger, Comcast's Vice President of Access Architecture, explains how DOCSIS 3.1 and multi-service CCAP can meet the demands of the bandwidth and service group growth.
Upcoming Live Events
June 8, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 10, 2015, Chicago, IL
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
October 6, 2015, The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
October 6, 2015, Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Procera has gathered facts, stats and customer experience feedback from a survey of 540 users from across the globe.
Hot Topics
Charter Seals Deals for TWC, Bright House
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 5/26/2015
Eurobites: Alcatel-Lucent Trials 400G in Czech Republic
Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, 5/26/2015
Will Carriers Follow Facebook's Networking Lead?
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 5/28/2015
Charter Plans Business Services, Wireless Push
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 5/27/2015
Facebook Reinvents Data Center Networking
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 5/26/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
On May 29th 1 PM ET, Steve Saunders, founder and CEO of Light Reading, will be drilling into the "pains and gains" of NFV with Saar Gillai, SVP & GM for NFV at Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ) (HP). He has defined a four-step NFV model describing a sequence of technology innovation. It's a must-read doc for any network architect looking to get to grips with their NFV migration strategy. Join us for the interview, and the chance to ask Saar your NFV questions directly!
Hassan Ahmed, CEO of Affirmed Networks, is making some big claims for his NFV startup. I sat down with him at the Light Reading HQ in New York City to get the skinny on what this Acton, Mass.-based startup is up to.
Cats with Phones