Court Allows Video Recording to Enter the Twentieth Century

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The Supreme Court has declined to take an appeal of a case that held that Cablevision does not infringe copyright by providing a “remote DVR” service to its customers–the court reasoned that it is the customers, not Cablevision, who are making copies of programs, which they are permitted to do (if Cablevision were the one “making” the copies, it would be “more akin to video-on-demand, for which they negotiate licensing fees with cable providers”). The upshot is that consumers won’t need to have a DVR box in their homes to record shows; they will be hosted on the servers of the cable or other provider. If only there were not a copyright statute in place in the first place, the courts would not have to engage in contorted reasoning to achieve just results.

12:33 pm on June 29, 2009