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Hollywood Loses bid to repress ReplayTV case documents
By Jon Newton, p2pnet.net
(more articles from this author)
2002-10-16
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Music Industry News - as it happens
Source: p2pnet.net - October 16, 2002

A US federal court has upheld the right of the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) to represent ReplayTV owners in their lawsuit against 28 motion picture and television industry companies.

The ReplayTV customers are suing the entertainment companies to, "clarify their rights to record television programs and to skip commercials using digital video recorders (DVRs)".

Hollywood claims skipping commercials is "stealing" and tried to prevent EFF attorneys from accessing documents they say are critical to preparing the ReplayTV owners' case. The court, however, ordered the companies to produce the documents as part of the legal discovery process.

Hollywood, meanwhile, is trying to say the EFF is a "competitor" because of its public statements about copyright law policy and advocacy to Congress on pending and current technology legislation, including the proposed Consumer Broadband Digital Television Promotion Act (CBDTPA).

The ruling sought by the entertainment companies would have effectively disqualified EFF attorneys as legal counsel for the ReplayTV owners in this case.

After hearing argument from both EFF and the entertainment companies' attorneys, Magistrate Judge Eick of the US District Court, Central District of California, ruled the restriction sought "would impair significantly the prosecution of the Newmark Plaintiffs' claims by effectively preventing attorneys from the Electronic Frontier Foundation from serving as litigation counsel for the Newmark Plaintiffs" and found the entertainment companies "have failed to demonstrate a sufficiently significant disclosure-related risk or danger" from disclosure of their confidential information by EFF attorneys to justify complete denial of access. The companies have not yet indicated if they intend to appeal the ruling.


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