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Can Cable Companies Store Shows For Us? 165

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "Last August I reported that the US Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit had defeated the MPAA's attempt to label as copyright infringement a cable operator's storing video for later reuse at the request of its subscribers, in Cartoon Networks v. CSC Holdings. The MPAA has petitioned the US Supreme Court to review that holding. According to a recent interview with Gigi Sohn of Public Knowledge, the High Court has not yet decided whether to grant the MPAA's petition seeking review. What I found odd about the 2nd Circuit decision (PDF) is that (a) although 'fair use' was the most logical defense to be employed in view of the Supreme Court's holding in SONY Betamax, upholding a VCR's 'time shifting' of a broadcast television show as a 'fair use,' the defendant in Cartoon Networks has stipulated to waive 'fair use,' and (b) although the easier legal theory for plaintiff to prove would have been secondary, rather than primary, copyright infringement (i.e. Cablevision's encouraging and inducing its customers to make unauthorized copies), the MPAA has stipulated to waive that line of attack. I.e. neither plaintiffs nor defendants seized the 'low hanging fruit.' In her interview, Ms. Sohn discusses the fair use defense, but I'm not sure why she does, since as I recall the defendant has waived it."

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The means-and-ends moralists, or non-doers, always end up on their ends without any means. -- Saul Alinsky