Supreme Court rebuffs Hollywood's attempt to block remote DVR services

The consumer hasn't often won in Washington when its interests have squared off against Hollywood's, thanks in part to the industry's strong lobbying efforts. But one institution where lobbying money doesn't come into play is the Supreme Court, and Monday's session dealt an indirect blow to the entertainment industry when the Court upheld a a federal appeals court decision that allows for the use of remote DVR technology.

The consumer hasn't often won in Washington when its interests have squared off against Hollywood's, thanks in part to the industry's strong lobbying efforts. But one institution where lobbying money doesn't come into play is the Supreme Court, and Monday's session dealt an indirect blow to the entertainment industry when the Court upheld a a federal appeals court decision that allows for the use of remote DVR technology.

In this particular case, Cablevision's remote DVR service, which records customer's programming choices on its own servers instead of a DVR installed in the home, was under fire. Hollywood balked at what it deemed as its exclusive right to reproduce its copyrighted material, but its injunction against Cablevision was removed by the appeals court.

Of course, this doesn't preclude future lawsuits that could test other variants of this technology, such as online services storing copies of your music files on its servers. But precedent is a powerful legal force, and this (non)decision will allow some breathing room for services like remote DVRs to emerge before another lawsuit can move up the chain to the Supreme Court again. And have no fear: There will be another one.

[Via Wired News]