The US cable operator Cablevision can continue its network PVR service for the time being, following a decision by the Supreme Court not to hear the case.
Two years ago Cablevision launched a trial with a network PVR service, which allows subscribers to remotely record programmes at the operator’s server rather than at a local hard drive in their home.
Hollywood studios and broadcasters were quick to jump into action, claiming offering such a facility would infringe their copyrights, and were seeking a ban on the service.
Although a Federal Judge agreed with the plaintiffs, a decision by the Second Circuit’s Court of Appeals last year overturned the decision.
The studios and broadcasters appealed to the Supreme Court, but it refused to hear a final appeal.
The ruling means an end to the case, but it remains to be seen of broadcasters and studios will let Cablevision roll out the remote PVR service.
The operator has argued that it does not own the recordings, because viewers themselves decide what programmes to record and when to view and delete them. The only difference with a PVR at home is the location of the hard drive.