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.
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Filed Under: dvr, remote dvr, singapore
Companies: recordtv


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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 7 Dec 2010 @ 12:21am

    Crowdsourcing security.

    http://interneteyes.co.uk/

    Now after the good news how about something scary about the U.K.?

    The police on the U.K. has put up a website to let users watch CCTV and alert the police for criminal activity and they even pay users.

    "Shoplifting is at its highest recorded levels, £4.88 billion a year according to the Centre for Retail Research. Internet Eyes has been designed to combat this rise by detecting these crimes as they happen."

    Would ever something like that be found to be illegal?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    average_joe (profile), 7 Dec 2010 @ 6:55am

    I wonder why remote storage DVRs didn't take off. Seems like a great idea to me.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      average_joe (profile), 7 Dec 2010 @ 7:17am

      Re:

      I just skimmed through the decision by the Second Circuit from a couple years back. It's not that they declared Cablevision's remote storage DVR legal per se, they only said that Cablevision would not be direct infringers for its use. The plaintiffs for some reason did not argue any sort of indirect liability, which is strange because the appellate court made it pretty clear that there would be contributory infringement. That's why it never took off.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 7 Dec 2010 @ 7:02am

    It's a damn shame that we have to keep tying up the courts with this legal discussion. The laws need to be defined internationally to stop the litigation. Such a waste of time and resources only to have it reversed in an appeal. Waste.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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