Hollywood studios sue makers of digital recorders.
LA Times story.
“The lawsuits, which were brought by the largest TV networks and all seven major Hollywood movie companies, say the ReplayTV recorders violate copyrights by enabling users to send videos to other ReplayTV boxes over the Internet and skip commercials automatically. The suit filed by MGM, Fox, Universal Studios and Orion Pictures goes furthest, arguing that it’s illegal to let consumers record and store shows based on the genre, actors or other words in the program description. This claim threatens not just the ReplayTV devices, some copyright experts say, but all recorders like it. Unlike VCRs, which require users to record shows by time slot or unique number, PVRs record based on a show’s name or program description. Users don’t need to know when “Friends” is on. They just need to know the name or a leading actor. Once a program is found, the device can be set to capture it whenever it’s on the air.”