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CEA worried by SonicBlue lawsuit
By Jon Newton, p2pnet.net
(more articles from this author)
2001-11-08
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Music Industry News - as it happens
Source: Mi2N/MusicDish - November 1, 2001

Major TV networks are suing digital recording ReplayTV and its parent, Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) member SonicBlue. They claim the ReplayTV 4000 (due to ship next month) and SonicBlue's DDV 2120 dual-deck VCR (available now) have features which allow viewers to email TV programs and by-pass commercials. CEA president and CEO Gary Shapiro said the copyright infringement lawsuit has many "troubling implications" which appear to pose a "direct attack on consumers' long-established fair use rights to record free over the air broadcasting for later viewing." He also said a legitimate concern over Net re-transmission of content, "must not be used as a Trojan Horse to roll back established recording and fair use rights in the home; nor should it be assumed that consumers are irresponsible in the use of material delivered into their homes."

The personal video recorder (PVR) lets viewers surf past commercials in stored shows and, "The plaintiffs now appear to claim that commercial skipping, which consumers have done through a variety of methods (including changing the channel), violates their copyright," Shapiro stated. "Consumers have always been able to fast forward through commercials on current analog VCR's. For years, some VCRs have had a 'commercial skip' function. Getting down to this level of functionality seems to be a direct attack on the Supreme Court decision, in the Betamax case, that staple articles of commerce that are capable of 'substantial non-infringing uses' may legally be distributed to consumers."

Related News from Mi2N:
» CEA Expresses Concerns Over SonicBlue Lawsuit


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