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Judge: SONICblue can keep stats

SONICblue Inc. will not have to keep tabs on the ad-deleting habits of the owners
of personal video recorders made by subsidiary ReplayTV.

On Monday, the judge who stayed a lower court's ruling that SONICblue needed
to supply entertainment companies with anonymous records of how customers use
the device overturned the decision.

Programmers including the "Big Three" networks, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc., Vivendi Universal and AOL Time
Warner Inc. had argued that ReplayTV helps customers to break copyright laws.

The Consumer Electronics Association, which supported SONICblue, applauded
the decision as a victory for fair-use doctrine.

"Forcing a company to change its product in order to conduct surveillance on
its customers is unreasonable and inappropriate," the CEA's Michael
Petricone said.

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.