In a surprising verdict, Cablevision has lost what we consider a landmark case regarding network digital video recording. Essentially, the judge concluded that a DVR is not the same as a network DVR because the company, i.e. Cablevision would in fact be retransmitting the content. Brilliant. My HDMI cable does the same thing from my "provider’s DVR" to my TV. It's a good thing that Hollywood doesn't have a meter-reader on it as well.
Cablevision was working on rolling out the ability for customers to store shows on Cablevision's servers rather than sending out thousands of personal DVRs. The network DVR service would have allowed subscribers to have the same functionality as an at-home DVR and would have saved the company and most likely consumers a lot of money in hardware.
However, in May 2006, Hollywood stepped in with several lawsuits contending that network DVRing would violate copyright laws as the company would be technically storing and retransmitting the television programs.
The judge ruled in favor of the studios saying, "The RS-DVR is clearly a service, and I hold that in providing this service, it is Cablevision that does the copying."
Naturally, Cablevision refuted that argument stating the service was no different than at-home DVR technology and TiVo. Cablevision said they will appeal the court's decision.