Appeals Court: Cablevision Can Offer Network DVR; Big Win for Cable; Bad News for Content, Satellite Cos

In a stunning ruling that has huge implications for the cable industry, the U.S. Court of Appeals in New York has cleared the way for Cablevision (CVC) to offer so-called “network DVRs,” in which consumers would be able to record video programming for future viewing “in the cloud” rather than relying on the hard-drives in their set-top boxes.

The Court of Appeals overturned a lower court ruling which concluded that network DVRs were a violation of content copyrights.

Bernstein Research analyst Craig Moffett notes this morning that the Court concurred with Cablevision’s view that by ceding control of what’s recorded to the customer, Cablevision’s network DVR model avoids direct liability for copyright infringement. “In Cablevision’s view, a network DVR is, in essence, simply a DVR with a very long cord,” he writes.

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