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Cablevision Sued Over Remote DVR Plan 134

Posted by Zonk
from the good-idea-bad-idea dept.
zoobid writes "NBC, CBS, ABC, and Fox have joined together and filed an injunction against Cablevision over their plan to introduce remote DVRs to their customers. 'They argue that while precedent may allow for legal time-shifting among home TV viewers, Cablevision's plans should require a special license from the broadcasters.' Cablevision's plan to create a centrally-hosted DVR was previously covered here on Slashdot."
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Cablevision Sued Over Remote DVR Plan

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  • "May allow for legal...."... W...T...F...

    How about just not making it illegal in the first place?
  • No doubt. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SatanicPuppy (611928) * <Satanicpuppy@@@gmail...com> on Thursday May 25, 2006 @03:33PM (#15404801) Journal
    This is so close to true "tv on demand" that the networks have to be crapping their pants.

    How do you justify marking up your "must see tv ads" for those crap shows that you slip between the good shows, if it can be proven that people watch the good shows on a completely different day, and don't watch the crap shows at all? If they have to flat rate, or discount their ads, that'll be a huge chunk of their profit.
    • Re:No doubt. (Score:3, Interesting)

      by IAmTheDave (746256)
      This is an interesting balance. I am as anti-**AA as they come, but in the end, the people that make/produce the content DO need a revenue stream.

      This is, of course, the industry shooting itself in the foot. This sort of on-demand access has been the handwriting-on-the-wall for years now. Instead of redeveloping their marketing and ad revenue schemes to prepare for the inevitable, they've tried to ignore its coming and - now that it's here - sue it back out of existance.

      This is of course the classic case
      • They don't want time shifting easily accessible for obvious reasons.

        Each of thse networks has select shows available from the iTunes music store and I'm certain there are other avenues to digitally purchase these works.

        Why purchase the season pass on "Lost" when you can just time shift it for cheap at your friendly neighborhood cable vision. For me, most things have little replay value and it's usually watch and discard.

        The networks are making money from dvd sales, download sales and even from their website
        • You have to pay for a Season Pass? I'm not a TiVo owner so I don't know how it works.

          In the UK, Sky (the monopolistic satellite TV operator), upgraded their set top boxes to 'Sky+' which included a DVR (or PVR). As part of this upgrade the OS added a 'series link' button which tags a show for record, and if that record is successful, then the next episode gets auto tagged for record too, this then repeats until the end of the season, ensuring that you get the whole season recorded automatically. I believe i
          • Not on my DVR....

            Season pass is an iTunes feature to sell you the whole season even before it is out. So when new episodes are relased you are notified of them being available for download.
      • Then there are the people like me who haven't been directly influenced (or indirectly, as near as I can tell) by a television ad since the internet became publicly available. My typical reaction is to leave the room, channel surf, or just plain ignore TV advertising.

        At least some part of that is caused by TV advertising being so damn bland and uninteresting. Even the Superbowl ads are boring these days (and they're the only reason I ever watched it in the first place). If the advertisers and the agencies wo
    • That's a good point. If everybody were watching with a DVR, nobody would ever again watch Fox's "War at Home", a terrible attempt to remake Married With Children. Its quite obvious why they sandwiched it in between Simpsons and Family Guy.
    • Hmmm. Well, with the exemption of those ads that are repeated a dozen times for show, I've been rather impressed with the direction of commercials thus far. I mean, years ago would you have imagined that people would donate massive websites or downloads to downloading funny or amusing ADS!?

      I downloaded a bunch of the "get a mac" ads recently to show friends. In particular the one entitled "rebooting" was pretty damn funny.

      Advertisers are just learning to make their ads better... so I'd rather see a lack
    • How do you justify marking up your "must see tv ads" for those crap shows that you slip between the good shows, if it can be proven that people watch the good shows on a completely different day, and don't watch the crap shows at all?

      Even if these recordings skip the ads advertisers are still likely to be interested in these kind of figures...
  • by Demon-Xanth (100910) on Thursday May 25, 2006 @03:33PM (#15404803)
    They are worried that it may set a precident of viewers having more control over what they watch! Can you imagine if they had this attitude back when VHS was coming around? Think of all those people that recorded shows instead of watching it at 10:30PM!

    Burn karma, burn.
  • Cross sueing (Score:5, Insightful)

    by VincenzoRomano (881055) on Thursday May 25, 2006 @03:34PM (#15404810) Homepage Journal
    Maybe one day IT companies will focus on products and services instead of legal activities.
    One should wonder how much resources those companies waste in useless legal actions and how much they earn from the same.
    • All these "useless legal actions" are a bi-product of being a publicly held corporation. Public corporations are encouraged by their lawyers to engage in legal actions whenever and wherever they feel that doing so will help preserve their piece of the pie or make it fatter.
  • Cable DVR? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by pilgrim23 (716938) on Thursday May 25, 2006 @03:35PM (#15404820)
    I view televison via an Eyehome (www.elgato.com) connected to my G5 (with like a zillion external firewire drives attached to it; Who said cheap storage was a good idea?) As to content; that was why God invented Bittoerent.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 25, 2006 @03:36PM (#15404828)
    I've long since given up watching anything on broadcast or cable - I just download or buy stuff I'm interested in to watch when I want to. Why the hell I should have to watch things when the cable company or the broadcaster specify and then sit through adverts in content I've supposedly paid for is completely beyond me.
  • Stop it now! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Nom du Keyboard (633989) on Thursday May 25, 2006 @03:38PM (#15404849)
    Don't let the networks win this one, or the battle is going to go on for years. Once it has left their antenna, they lose their control over it.
    • ..."any rebroadcast or retransmission of this program, without the expressed written consent of Major League Baseball, is strictly prohibited." And it's not limited, of course, to MLB.
    • Don't let the networks win this one, or the battle is going to go on for years. Once it has left their antenna, they lose their control over it.

      My memory is vague on this subject, thankfully this is ./ and there will always be some bugger to popup and fill in the gaps.

      Back in the 80s it wasn't a problem for cable companies to rebroadcast the local channels over the cable. Why should it, they were doing local stations a favor. The cable company would invest in the approperate antenna, subscribers could get
      • "Many cable television systems were formerly known as CATV (Community Antenna Television) systems as they were originally composed simply of a shared antenna located in a high location to which multiple households could have their TVs connected via coaxial cable. This was designed to provide access to television signals in areas where reception was traditionally poor. As cable-only networks began to appear on CATV systems, picked up via satellite rather than by antenna, the use of the term CATV has largely
    • It's amazing that cable companies have the gaul to complain. They started off selling the service of retransmitting broadcast TV over cables to people too far out of town for good reception. The broadcast companies, in good old-fashioned American tradition, sued. I guess it's just a fact of life that companies offering new services will be hassled by those who profit from the old ones.
  • by Chris Bradshaw (933608) * on Thursday May 25, 2006 @03:38PM (#15404850)
    So let me get this straight... you can use a personal DVR in your home (rented from the cable or dish provider), and record/playback/etc all you want - but to provide the same functionality as an online service is somehow different? I don't get it!
    • by Daniel_Staal (609844) <DStaal@usa.net> on Thursday May 25, 2006 @03:45PM (#15404929)
      'Personal use' vs. 'Commercial use'.

      It's legal for me to record TV shows and watch them when I want. It's not legal for me to sell the recordings. The TV companies are saying this amounts to selling the recordings.

      I haven't looked at the technical details. They might be right.
      • It's precicely the same model as mp3.com started with:

        - make you prove you had a CD by inserting it in your drive and letting their software examine it, then
        - allow you to download (as often as you like) a copy of a single, centrally stored, MP3 rip of it.

        This provided a "rip" and transport service for music you'd already bought, but only required one copy at the server.

        They lost the suit against RIAA.

        As far as the courts are concerned, a for-profit company whose business model includes maki
      • Implimented properly, the only difference would the length and kind of wires the signals travel over, and where the data is stored.

        I'm not worried. It'll all shake out eventually and we'll have all the networks going where HBO is now with Cox. Good programming that you can watch on-demand at any time within about a month or so that they have it available on the server. If you want it longer you have to record it locally. You'll pay a monthly fee for access and there won't be any commercials.

        Over-the-air
        • Implimented properly, the only difference would the length and kind of wires the signals travel over, and where the data is stored.

          I'd add one optimization to that - I'd improve how the video is stored. Rather than have one hard drive per user, you can have a disk farm and only store one copy of a show per metro area, or whatever your locality is based on your transit costs.

          It would work like unix hardlinks - when the last user has "erased" the show from "his" DVR, then you can delete the server file and r
    • Simple, they arn't paying the networks anything for this. Technically this is the difference between you recording a show and watching it later, and recording a show and posting it on bittorrent.
    • It's the difference between being a file sharing uploader and a file sharing downloader.

      When you DVR in your home, you download and save the material. You are a downloader.

      When a cable provider records the shows, and then sends them to you via an upload. They are an uploader.

      Uploaders get into lots of copyright trouble.

    • As I understand it, you've stated the difference precisely: copying for your own private use is fair. Distributing or broadcasting that copy, *especially* as part of a commercial transaction, is not. I actually agree with them on this one.
    • So let me get this straight... you can use a personal DVR in your home (rented from the cable or dish provider), and record/playback/etc all you want - but to provide the same functionality as an online service is somehow different? I don't get it!

      It's different in the eye of the networks, who hope to persuade the courts to agree with them, because the moment it's different then it needs a new license -- and new money changes hands.

      You can bet that if the networks had been able to figure out how to offe

    • You can record songs off the radio, then play them back whenever you wish, but a radio station cannot let you call in and control exactly what plays when.

      It doesn't make sense to me, either, but that's how it works. All of these legal constructs set up around so-called "intellectual properties" seem tenuous, at best.

      I'd rather see them greatly weakened, or greatly strengthened, with a huge reduction in duration. I'd be ok with content providers have 100% use of their information with no fair-use rights, i
    • In-home non-commercial use is fine. Offering it as a commercial service is not. The home equivalent for this would be for you to time-shift for your neighbors and charge them for the service.
    • You don't get it because you're a geek. To you the difference between the hard disk being located in your home and it being located at the ISP's premises is a minor deployment issue. In reality it's a huge business and legal issue. The ISP being able to store the broadcasters' entire output and dole it out on demand puts them in competition with the broadcasters in a way that individual DVRs do not.
    • There is a huge differene here. Under the Supreme Court's Betamax decision, you, as a consumer, have a fair use right to "Timeshift" the shows you receive. So, you are allowed to put them on your DVR or your VCR in order to watch them later. You are not allowed, however, to create a library so you can watch something many times or so you can give recordings to your friends.

      Here, the cable company is NOT engaging in timeshifting -- it's just copying the signal and distributing it to people as they want it
      • Do you have a link?

        The way I understand timeshifting, you can record your show and watch it 10,000 times.

        • Sure. The betamax case is here. [justia.com] Look for page 423 for a description of the two types of usage, time-shifting and library-building. Also look at the court's discussion of timeshifting as fair use, starting at around 447.

          In any case, Betamax was concerned with copying, which is one of the 6 copyrights (see 17 U.S.C. 106). Here, the cable companies are also distributing copies to the public. That goes well beyond what Betamax found to be fair use.
          • Interesting, thanks for the link. I read all the sections about library-building. It seems that library-building was taking place amongst existing betamax users, but was somewhat limited by the cost of cassettes.

            I was concerned by your statement that You are not allowed, however, to create a library so you can watch something many times or so you can give recordings to your friends.

            but couldn't find anything stating that in the ruling.

            • Well, the decision doesn't specifically say that, but it's pretty much implied. Here's the structure of the argument:

              1. Sony is liable as a contributory copyright infringer if its products are incapable of substantial non-infringing uses.

              2. There are two common uses: time-shifting and library-building.

              3. Time shifting is a fair use and is thus non-infringing.

              4. Therefore, Sony is not liable.

              The implication is that library-building is not a fair use. The court didn't specifically find that, but it see
    • If CableVision can actually pull off a compelling service, then it has the potential to pretty much kill off Tivo.

      Once Tivo and their consumer ilk are gone, then the networks can sue CableVision, collect massive damages and the death of Tivo will merely be collateral damage.
  • by msmercenary (837876) on Thursday May 25, 2006 @03:39PM (#15404857)
    As has been pointed out here on /. many times before, any industry whose business model relies on controlling the channels of media distribution is now dying a death from obsolescence, thanks to ubiquitous electronic distribution.

    This legal move by the networks, which obviously has no customer benefit, is clearly a sign of this malady. We are now seeing more and more suits like this as companies, desperately trying to cling to a failing business model, turn to the law to prop up their house of cards. And it is their last, best hope. The government is quite likely the only organization more resistant to change than the media industries.
    • by Generic Guy (678542) on Thursday May 25, 2006 @05:07PM (#15405599)
      This legal move by the networks, which obviously has no customer benefit

      End viewers are not the Networks' customer. Large ad firms are their customer. Once you put the argument in perspective it begins to make sense, even despite the apparent twistedness of this revelation.

      • End viewers are not the Networks' customer. Large ad firms are their customer.

        Who cares about networks? I like HBO's model. I pay them, I get good, commercial-free programming that I can watch purely on-demand, any show, any time I want it, thanks to the Cox network. If I want a copy of a show, I record it locally and write it off to DVDR.
      • Yes and no.

        Advertising rates are affected by the number of eyeballs watching their content. No viewers = no one to advertise to = no advertisers. The networks are very, very concerned about not driving their customers away and, while it IS true that advertisers matter, the viewers matter more.

        Triv

  • by Scareduck (177470) on Thursday May 25, 2006 @03:39PM (#15404858) Homepage Journal
    The content providers aren't content with ramming broadcast flags down our throats; now they want to mandate the design of every freaking piece of hardware between them and the patsies (i.e., consumers) whom they target. This kind of legalistic BS has to come to a stop.
    • now they want to mandate the design of every freaking piece of hardware

      Now?

      What about VCRs, DVD players, HDMI/HDCP, MP3 players, DVR boxes, tape decks, CD/DVD burners, etc., etc., etc.

      They've been trying to (and in many cases successfully) mandate designs on hardware to their benefit for more years than I've been alive.

  • Hotel DVR System (Score:5, Insightful)

    by path_man (610677) on Thursday May 25, 2006 @03:39PM (#15404863)
    Although I'm not certain how much is truth and how much legend, I understand that a major hotel chain has been seeking the blessing from the top three or four television networks to "DVR" the major primetime shows and offer them to their guests on a pay-per-view basis.

    So imagine arriving late to the hotel the night before to your business meeting and being able to watch 24 in your hotel room 8 hours after it ran.

    At issue was getting a revenue-sharing agreement setup between the networks and the hotel. Oh, and coming up with a pricepoint that didn't rape the guests.

    Although it may someday come to pass, the greedy networks are the barrier to this kind of Hotel DVR system. So it's of no surprise to me that Cablevision is being sued over essentially the same thing that the hotel chain is too afraid to implement on their own.
    • So imagine arriving late to the hotel the night before to your business meeting and being able to watch 24 in your hotel room 8 hours after it ran.

      6 am is rather late. (...or 5 am, if you're counting from when the program began.)
    • Oh, and coming up with a pricepoint that didn't rape the guests...


      Right, like that has ever crossed the hotel-industry management's minds...

      • No kidding. One of the hotels I stay at has something like the "Music Choice" I get with digital cable. I figured, that's cool, I wonder how much? It was something like $12/day or maybe that was only for 4 hours. The more expensive the hotel, the more expensive the "extras." Wireless is generally free or almost free at your basic hotels and $10-12/day at you $150/night hotels.
  • by TubeSteak (669689) on Thursday May 25, 2006 @03:41PM (#15404877) Journal
    While it may seem like playing at semantics, I think they might have a legitimate gripe this time around.

    CableVision is literally rebroadcasting their content, which is a major shift from the previous model of 'consumer records it at home'.

    Currently, if you want to re-broadcast a show, you have to pay for it. If CableVision goes through with this, it'll seriously dilute the market (in CableVision areas) for re-runs.

    • CableVision is literally rebroadcasting their content, which is a major shift from the previous model of 'consumer records it at home'.

      Bzzzzzap!

      There are only two kinds of shifts involved here:

      1. The timeshift of watching programs at a time later than they're broadcast. We've had this right for a long time and it's not in question.

      2. The location-shift of the DVR from your living room to the cable company's server room. And this is no different than asking your neighbor or family member to record

      • In fact, if some kid started a neighborhood business of recording programs for people who are away and couldn't get them on their own VCR's, charging them for that service and giving them the tapes afterwards, it would be functionally exactly the same thing.

        And it would be illegal. Just as renting a DVD and showing it to strangers, or to people you know but charging money, or to people you know and not charging money per se, but showing it at a party with a door fee are all illegal.

        There are many things t
        • And it would be illegal.

          I don't think so. The kid is simply babysitting your VCR while you're away.

          • If he's babysitting *your* VCR while away, then there is no location-shift in your example. And it is the location shift that becomes the illegal action. Think of it this way, Cablevision is a for-profit company, trying to make money off of somebody elses content without their permission. It's analogous to someone charging a monthly fee for others to listen to their illegally downloaded MP3s. If Cablevision wants to provide this service, then fine, they can negotiate for the rights to do so, but until t
    • CableVision is literally rebroadcasting their content, which is a major shift from the previous model of 'consumer records it at home'.

      But uh, no, they aren't. They're not broadcasting anything. Broadcasting is a push technology. You send it out, and it's either received, or it isn't. This is wholly different. It's allowing customers to store their data on the cable company's servers, and view it when they choose to. They initiate every step of the process. Presumably they will be only storing single

      • But uh, no, they aren't. They're not broadcasting anything. Broadcasting is a push technology. You send it out, and it's either received, or it isn't. This is wholly different. It's allowing customers to store their data on the cable company's servers, and view it when they choose to. They initiate every step of the process.

        Your statement that customers are storing "their data on the cable company's servers" is arguable.

        How is it "their" data?
        They have not recieved it and stored it at their home.

        It really d

        • Also, I think you're confusing the convential idea of an over the air broadcast, which goes to everyone, with Cable broadcast, which allows for a fine grained segregation of service.

          Ah! But there are so-called "wireless cable" systems. Here in Lake County, CA, USA we have such a beast. Known as Lake County Television (LCTV) they have a radio shack on top of Mount Konocti, a more-or-less dormant volcano. (It's supposedly active, but it has no opening/upwelling, whatever that all boils down to - no pun

    • They are not rebroadcasting, they are just transporting the broadcasts very slowly. As it is, the speed of light in a cable is about 2/3rd the speed of light in vacuum/air. This provides the cable companies with a precedent. All this cable company has done now, is make the speed of light much slower still. You pump a show into one end of the cable and it falls out the other end a few hours later, as opposed to a few milliseconds later...
    • [analogy type=mediocre]
      What we are looking at here is really the difference between thin & fat clients.
      A traditional DVR has it's own hard drive & a full interface to do the recording. The new process is more like a thin client requesting information from a central repository. My issue with this is that the Media companies are saying fat clients have been upheld as legal already, but they want to bar the thin clients. That's nice, but both do exactly the same thing. If it's legal to do, it's legal
  • by grasshoppa (657393) <skennedy.tpno-co@org> on Thursday May 25, 2006 @03:42PM (#15404886) Homepage
    So there I was, with all the hardware necessary for a MythTV box. I thought, "What fun, I can record anything I want, whenever I want, and play it back on my own time". So I set down and got to work. Couple days later, I had it all hooked up to the TV.

    And what do I find? There's nothing on TV to watch. I literally spent the afternoon/evening looking for something, anything to record. I still can't find anything worth the harddrive space.

    So, I accepted defeat, set it up to record Dora the Explorer and Sesame street ( 2 year old daughter ), and started putting my DVD isos on the harddrive. Might as well savage some use out of it.
    • And what do I find? There's nothing on TV to watch. I literally spent the afternoon/evening looking for something, anything to record. I still can't find anything worth the harddrive space.

      While a lot of TV is trash, try concentrating your search on The History Channel and The Discovery Channel. The plethora of educational content is amazing. Try checking out this coming Monday at... 9ish? History Channel is running a special about George Washington's military life called Washington the Warrior [historychannel.com].

      I get that some people don't like TV, but this is education about your country's founding, it's wars and triumphs, etc.

      To me, this is great TV no matter who you are. But that's just MHO. ;)

      • The History Channel and The Discovery Channel.

        You mean the Hitler Channel and the Psychic, Obese, Midget, Undead, Alien Bigfoot gets a Makeover for Jesus Channel?

        Go read a book.

        KFG
        • Go read a book.

          Oh, yeah... because none of THEM have a slant...

          • Shopping for shoes is not a "slant" on cosmology.

            I was not addressing issues of bias, but basic content. Dr. Who is about the only thing I watch on the Sci-Fi channel right now, because it would be more accurately called the Horror Channel; and I'm not a horror fan. Could be worse, I suppose. For it's first year or two I called the History Channel the Boring Channel; and I'm a history geek.

            National Geographic, on the other hand, was great for about the first year, but now has started running much the same d
      • The Discovery Channel's only an actual science channel on 1) The weekends and 2) At most 4 or 5 hours per weekdays. All other times when the sun is up, are shows about home economics. They're trying to catch the daytime housewife audience I guess, but don't soap operas pretty much have a pretty strong hold on that market?

        National Geographic has a channel though, and fortunately they haven't (yet) gone down that unfortunate route.
    • I actually ran into the opposite problem. I told it to get a bunch of shows, and specially marked several as Do Not Auto-Expire. (For nonMythers, that mean "don't delete these to make space for new content".)

      Since I made the MythTV box, I don't really watch TV anymore and the damn thing filled up. I've got 30 episodes of House, 40+ episodes of Monk, ~25 episodes of MythBusters, etc. The only thing I'm good about watching is The Daily Show.

      Maybe I'll get to watching some of it eventually...

      • It was a strange shift in my thinking when I realized they were making good TV faster than I can watch it.

        I can squeeze in about 5 hours a week, and between the Daily Show, Colbert Report, and occasional Adult Swim shows that is 5 hours a week. I also like some sci-fi shows, there are movies, old MST3Ks I've never seen, etc.

        I don't want to bump up tv viewing time, so I'm going to have to accept to let things go. Or pile up, which is what is happening now.

    • It is quite true. I grab Good Eats and Americas Test Kitchen (foodie, what can I say), plus some movies I don't have or aren't released on DVD (Club Paradise, among others). I also record the Daily Show and Colbert Report, but just so I have something fun to watch if I happen to come home for lunch. I've got a HD Tivo, and have found that most things still aren't good enough in HD to make it worth my time. I almost pride myself on the fact that I don't have a clue who stars in what tv show nowadays. Ther
  • Do content producers really think that, in the long run, technology will allow them charge a bunch of money for different uses? Or is there some (less... scary) motivation behind this?
    • charge a little more for viewing Lost in a 640x480 window, versus a 480x360 window
    • charge a little more for viewing it during rush hour, versus sitting on the toilet at 11pm
    • charge a little more for viewing it while in the north side of town, versus viewing it while in the south side of town

    I'm not saying that the stu

    • Pfft they could make a fortune by showing Lost without commercials but making people who want answers to 2 year old plot points call a 1-900 number to get them. I'd never watch another TV show again, but I'd have to finish off this particular pile of crack. Sorry. Frustrated viewer.
  • Ah, the classic debate between content owners and content distributors. And who loses? The customer. The technology and profitability for the greatest ideas we can come up with are already here. It's only these large companies holding them back through distrust and fighting. Sure DVRs are already prominent, but they can't even stop fighting over the technologies that are already here. Imagine what we're missing.
  • by cez (539085) <info AT historystartingyesterday DOT com> on Thursday May 25, 2006 @03:44PM (#15404919) Homepage
    FTA: "The advertisers are starting to insist that they only be billed for "live" advertising, that is, they want to know how many viewers of a show are likely to watch it hours if not days after it aired, and they don't want to pay full price for those viewers. Thus, two features of the DVR--the ability to skip advertisements and time-shifting itself--are major threats to the industry."

    Major threats to the industry? I assume they mean the advertising industry...BS. as long as there are products and mediums to advertise on advertisers will make money. God forbid TV isnt as much as a cashcow as it used to be... Do they think they're the only industry that needs to adapt at times? Now they'll start pushing the price of internet advertising (costs associated)and producing commercials to compensate and visually spam more shit on the web. If companies only learned to embrace the future instead of fighting it, they'd be more sucessful and we'd probably be more technologically advanced as a culture.

    • You forget one thing - the non-premium TV industry is the advertising industry. If it wasn't for advertising, you'd be paying for a subscription to each and every channel that is currently on basic/extended cable, or you wouldn't have them. In short, if TV wasn't so intertwined with advertising, you would probably already have a la carte.

      Even in the beginning of the modern TV industry, advertising was intertwined. In the old days, entire shows were sponsored by a company who would then plaster their logo an
  • I can make my own programming; define several "channels", and choose to watch them whenever I like. If this can all be behind a Tivo interface...ohh boy, better for me. I can record several shows, skip all the commercials, and watch them whenever I like!

    Yes, networks should be scared. Then again, I pretty much do this now with my Tivo, but is isn't multi-tuner.

    The broadcasters have issue since, as they put it, "Cablevision is actually copying, storing and retransmitting it," I guess the retransmissi
  • If these companies who are filling the injunction knew anything, they would know that it matters not to the functionality of the system where the DVR is. The point is that people use DVR's and this is simply a way for Cable to provide cost savings and added value to thier service. There is nothing illegal about it. Or rather if there is the dipshits who drafted such a law should be rounded up and shot.
  • by a_greer2005 (863926) on Thursday May 25, 2006 @04:21PM (#15405250)
    This is the first time that I agree with the entertainment industry on a case like this; if the end user wants to record it, share it with friends, re-watch ot timeshift content, fine BUT this is the cable company cacheeing all content and doing mass redistribution, for profit -- thus it is a commercial enterprise using the content in a way that their license doesnt allow, pretty clear cut to me.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 25, 2006 @04:21PM (#15405251)
    This is just like what MP3.com wanted to do. They wanted to create a centralized music database. Once the program verified that you owned the original CD, it unlocked the music in the database for a user. This was so people could access the music they rightfully owned (supposedly) from anywhere.

    And as we all remember, the RIAA destroyed this from ever happening, because they said that MP3.com was essentially profiting of selling their property.

    Essentially, Cablevision wants to create a centralized database of all TV programming and "sell it back"
  • DVRs from Cisco (Score:2, Insightful)

    by bec1948 (845104)

    I suspect that some of the impetus for this comes from Scientific Atlantic (now owned by Cisco). They make settop boxes and DVRs. Their DVRs are the ones supplied by Time Warner cable, and perhaps Cablevision. Among the products in their line are DVRs that can record up to two channels at a time for each of up to 4 set top boxes. This means that you can record and/or watch up to 8 shows at a time in your home.

    I think what makes the broadcasters crazy is that this can have all sorts of effects on how r
  • adapt or die (Score:3, Insightful)

    by toy4two (655025) on Thursday May 25, 2006 @05:19PM (#15405684)
    whats so wrong with advertising embedded in TV shows. Why can't Tony Soprano be driving a coke, or eating at a Wendys and commenting how good the sandwich is. I'd much prefer embedded ads then the overt commercials where you have to listen to some jingle or paid spokeperson, those just insult my intelligence. I think they could make more money this way, as it is I don't know anyone in my demographic that doesn't flip the channel when commercials come on.
    • I actually don't mind well thought out, intelligent commercials. The main reason I have a Tivo is so I can skip the Personal Injury commercials and the likes.

      Geico, Volvo and a few others actually have commercials that are pretty tolerable.
    • whats so wrong with advertising embedded in TV shows. Why can't Tony Soprano be driving a coke, or eating at a Wendys and commenting how good the sandwich is.

      Ad placement / embedded advertising can be tastefuly done. Archie Bunker drank Royal Crown cola. I don't know if RC paid for that, but an entire episode centered around whether they could taste the difference between the various colas on the market, which as far as a sit-com goes is totally approperate. In other cases, it can be quite tacky... The F
    • They already do product placement on the Sapranos, occasionally in a blazingly obvious manner.

      I recall one time specifically where Camilla and Tony where commenting on how nice a car the Cadillac Escalanche (or some GM vehicle) was, while sitting around watching TV and it's ad 'happened' to come up.

      You can bet that every cereal they eat, every beverage they drink, every brand name you can clearly identify in any scene paid to be there.

      I don't object to it personally, except on the rare occasion it's shoe-ho
  • The sound you hear is the continuing dirge for Fair Use rights. Keep in mind that rulings against corporations create legal precedent that applies to you too. This case and that against XM Radio could make Tivos and any other "unauthorized" media recording illegal.

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