SUPREME COURT MAY CONSIDER WHETHER FEDERAL APPEALS COURT RULING PERMITTING REMOTE DIGITAL VIDEO RECORDERS VIOLATES THE COPYRIGHT ACT
The manner in which we view television programs has changed. The advent of digital video recorders like Tivo means that viewers are regularly "copying" content. While copying for personal use has been upheld by the courts, new technologies allowing cable companies to provide digital video recorders from a remote, central location have given rise to a number of cases across the country.
In August 2008, the Second Circuit considered the issue of whether such a "remote digital recorder" violated content providers' copyrights. That court reversed a ruling in the Southern District of New York and held that these remote DVRs did not infringe upon the providers' rights. However, just last month, the United States Supreme Court requested the government to weigh in on the issue -- requesting that the Solicitor General submit a brief to express the government's view of the law.
Should content providers really be complaining about a DVR system which appears to be more secure against piracy? Stay tuned to see if your cable's DVR will be upheld to be legal.