Cablevision Blasts Broadcasters For Tying RS-DVR To Aereo Litigation

Cablevision Systems issued a whitepaper Thursday asserting its belief that Aereo’s broadband TV service violates copyright laws, but likewise argued that a broadcaster-led attack against Aereo is also “overreaching and damaging” because they also take aim at the legal underpinnings of Cablevision’s remote-storage DVR (RS-DVR) and other cloud-based storage services.

The paper comes into play as ABC, Fox, CBS, NBC and other broadcasters have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn a Second Circuit denial of an injunction against Aereo, which claims that its service, which does include a cloud DVR component, is not a public performance, but instead provides remote, private access to free over-the-air signals. In 2008, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a lower court ruling, handing Cablevision a big victory and finding that the MSO’s network-based DVR did not violate copyright laws. 

In releasing the paper, titled “Aereo and the Public Performance Right,” Cablevision said in a statement that it “strongly rejects anti-Aereo arguments made by these broadcasters – including ABC, CBS and Fox” as they “attempt to overturn the important principles of federal copyright law confirmed by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in its 2008 Cablevision remote-storage DVR (RS-DVR) in their petition before the U.S. Supreme Court as both overreaching and damaging.”

Cablevision said that those arguments, if accepted, would cause “grave harm to consumers, cloud-based technology and future innovation,” claiming it would attack all cloud-based services, including Apple’s iCloud, Amazon Cloud Player, Google Play Music, and, of course, Cablevision’s own RS-DVR service.

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