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ReplayTV users sue entertainment industry
By Jon Newton, p2pnet.net
(more articles from this author)
2002-06-11
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Music Industry News - as it happens
Source: Mi2N - June 7, 2002

"I want to give my nephews and nieces a break from the rampant consumerism on TV by using ReplayTV's commercial skipping feature," says Craig Newmark, craigslist.com community founder, ReplayTV user and one of five plaintiffs in a unique case where ReplayTV customers are suing the entertainment industry.

Looking for a ruling to protect their rights to skip over commercials and record television programs for later viewing using DVRs, the other four members of the group are Keith Ogden, owner of a financial broker firm in San Francisco, Shawn Hughes, a small business owner in Georgia, Seattle journalist Glenn Fleishman, and southern Californian video engineer Phil Wright.

"These Hollywood guys want to stop me from using my digital video recorder like I use my VCR, like for watching shows when I want or zipping through commercials," says Newmark.

Represented by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and San Rafael lawyer Ira Rothken, the five have filed a federal lawsuit in Los Angeles asking the court to rule their use of the ReplayTV device is legal under copyright law.

"Your contract with the network when you get the show is you're going to watch the spots," Turner Broadcasting CEO Jamie Kellner is quoted as saying in an interview with [INSIDE] Magazine. "Otherwise you couldn't get the show on an ad-supported basis. Any time you skip a commercial or watch the button you're actually stealing the programming."

LA Central District Court Magistrate Charles F. Eick recently ruled SONICblue would have to modify its DVR's to collect data on what tv-watchers watch and to then pass the information to a group including Paramount, Universal, Walt Disney and Metro-Goldwyn- Mayer; and, CBC, ABC and NBC, all of whom were suing SONICblue for alleged copyright violations.

However, Eick's decision was overturned by federal judge Florence-Marie Cooper.

Related News from Mi2N:
» ReplayTV Users: "We Are Not Thieves"


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