Hollywood Loses bid to repress ReplayTV case documents
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
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.