US Supreme Court to Allow Wider DVR Use

US Supreme Court to Allow Wider DVR Use

Range Govindan
Jul 15, 2009

The US Supreme Court declined to block a new digital video recording system that could make it easier for viewers to bypass commercials. We know that you don't like wasting time. We think that commercials are a waste of time if you have to suffer through them. Thankfully, DVR technology lets those of us who still watch cable bypass them.

The Supreme Court delivered a sizable blow to network television when it declined to hear a case about DVR technology, which opens the gate for the wider use of DVR systems. The case began in 2006 when Cablevision Systems announced plans for a network DVR system, which would let customers record programs on their servers instead of in their homes. This would let Cablevision convert set-top boxes into boxes with DVR capabilities without requiring costly installations or new equipment.

TBS, CNN and other networks sued Cablevision, saying that the system violated copyright law. In March 2007, a lower court agreed. The US Court of Appeals reversed that decision in August 2008. The plaintiffs asked for the Supreme Court to hear the case, but they declined. This means that the Appeals decision was reinforced, much to the displeasure of the TV networks. The issue is that the shows with be stored remotely. TV networks dislike DVR because customers tend to use it to skip commercials. We don't know about you guys, but we dislike commercials and are pretty happy about this decision. It would allow a wider use of DVR technology to skip and eliminate commercials from DVR enabled TVs. That being said, there are other ways of doing that without creating that much of a fuss. Still, it's a step in the right direction. Personally, we can't stand commercials. Less commercials equates with less time wasted. Did you know that an hour long TV show is usually about 40 minutes without commercials? TV networks need to adapt to the new digital reality. [via NY Times, image via Owenbloggers]

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