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Recording Restrictions

Publication Date: 
December 01, 2008
Inside Counsel

Professor Paul Goldstein is quoted in Inside Counsel in an article about a copyright infringement case Cartoon Network v. CSC Holdings, Inc.:

In March 2006, Cablevision announced a brand new service for its cable TV subscribers. With just a few clicks of their remote controls, customers would be able to record TV programs and watch them later, at their convenience.

OK, that may not seem new. People have been recording TV programs for decades, using VCRs and, more recently, DVRs (digital video recorders).

Cablevision’s service, however, would record TV shows in a new way. Instead of recording the programs on a machine located in the customer’s home, Cablevision would record the shows miles away, on its own servers. Each customer would have his own recordings, which would be streamed to the customer’s TV after he hits the appropriate buttons on the remote.

Cablevision, which is owned by CSC Holdings Inc., expected to roll out its new service in June 2006. But that didn’t happen because some TV and movie companies—including Disney, NBC and Universal—sued the company for copyright infringement.


"It is a terrifically important case," says Paul Goldstein, who teaches copyright law at Stanford Law School. By limiting the rights of copyright owners, the ruling protects many burgeoning online businesses, as well as computer and consumer technology firms.