In a court case that's sure to set some legal and technological precedents that run counter to everything that the Internet and software as a service revolutions are about, several television and movie studios have joined forces to sue Cablevision which has been testing a TiVo-like recording service (officially: Networked Digital Video Recorder or Remote Storage (RS) DVR) where the recorded programs are stored on Cablevision's servers rather than locally at the customers premises in a digital video recorder like the ones offered by TiVo and Motorola. According to a Reuters story about the lawsuit:
The suit, filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, says Cablevision would run afoul of copyright law with its plan to allow subscribers to store and play back TV programs through computer servers controlled by the cable TV operator....The lawsuit was brought by News Corp.'s 20th Century Fox, General Electric's Universal Studios, Viacom's Paramount Pictures, the Walt Disney and three major networks--CBS, Disney-owned ABC and GE-owned NBC.
Cablevision isn't alone in wanting to role out such a timeshifted VOD (video-on-demand) service. Comcast apparently has the same sort of service queued up. You can imagine how storage companies like EMC and Sun must be licking their chops at the idea of an services oriented storage architecture like this taking off. Moving all of those terabytes out of our homes and into the cable operators' data centers will require some series hardware not to mention some special storage management software that's suited specfically to the task of RS-DVR applications. For example, for everyone recording shows based on program title (versus custom time slot), the cable operator only needs to store the program once while feeding to many people in typical VOD fashion (an architecture that's already in place for existing VOD offerings).