After Cablevision announced its plans to create a network-based DVR, it wasn't surprising to see TV networks throw a fit over it. It's even less surprising to hear that three major networks and four TV studios have now sued Cablevision. They allege fair use doesn't apply to companies that have licensed their content only for simultaneous rebroadcast, a point with which Cablevision disagrees. The bigger issue, though, isn't the legality of the service, but the TV companies' need to shut down a service that will make the public's viewing experience of their shows easier and better. The problem seems to be that they think this is a zero-sum game, that only one party can, or perhaps should, benefit here, so of course they want to set up a system that only benefits them. That's short-sighted, and when they end up hurting the end user, all they're really hurting is themselves. The current broadcast TV model is broken, and networks are struggling to adapt. It's obvious, though, that trying to shut down services to make it easier for people to watch their shows isn't the way forward.
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