Singapore Appeals Court Says Internet DVR Is Legal
from the good-news dept
About a year ago, we wrote about a lawsuit in Singapore, questioning whether or not the operator of an online DVR, RecordTV, was violating copyrights by letting users record and access TV shows online. The service only worked on shows broadcast over the air, and only for users who could show that they had paid their TV license and were legally allowed to access the content in question. The case had many similarities to the famous case in the US concerning Cablevision’s remote DVR, which was eventually declared legal, much to the chagrin of the entertainment industry. While the Singapore district court discussed the Cablevision ruling, it eventually ruled (partially) against RecordTV, though the judge really seemed conflicted, and seemed to suggest that the case clearly could have gone either way, since Singaporean copyright law didn’t really speak to this situation. However, the appeals court has now reversed that ruling. The appeals court ruling is fascinating reading (full ruling after the jump), noting that the lower court appeared to have a “too technical reading” of the current copyright law — specifically reading much more into what the word “communication” means, with a specific discussion about the old “making available” question. Nice to see courts recognizing that otherwise legal tools like DVRs shouldn’t become illegal just because they’re online.