Breaking: Supreme Court Turns Down Cablevision Case

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Breaking: Supreme Court Turns Down Cablevision Case

Mon Jun 29, 2009 @ 07:24AM PST

By Eriq Gardner

Supremecourtjpg This just in: The Supreme Court has denied a writ of certiorari in Cable News Network, Inc., et al., v. CSC Holdings, Inc.

This means that the landmark ruling last year by the 2nd Circuit that legitimized Cablevision's plan to allow subscribers to store TV programs on the cable operator's computer servers instead of on a hard-top box has been allowed to stand.

This is a big blow to the entertainment industry. 

Content holders and broadcast networks pushed hard on the case, arguing on appeal that this was the most important copyright case since the Supreme Court defined the boundaries of fair use in 1984 in the Sony Betamax case. The Supreme Court's decision today to deny cert may make it easier for time-shifting technologies to appear in the marketplace and may also threaten burgeoning video-on-demand licensing revenue throughout Hollywood.

UPDATE: No satisfying conclusion just yet in Citizens United v. Federal Election Committee, the case concerning whether a documentary about Hillary Clinton should have been regulated by campaign finance laws. The Supreme Court announced that the case will be reargued and decided next term. 

According to Tom Goldstein at the SCOTUSblog, it's very rare that the Court doesn't resolve all of its cases before the end of a term. 

In its announcement today, the Court directed the parties to address the validity of Section 203 of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002, indicating that it plans to take a broader look at campaign finance laws in relation to free speech.

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The Hollywood Reporter, Esq. blog focuses on how the entertainment and media industries are impacted and influenced by the law. It is edited by Matthew Belloni with contributions from veteran legal reporter Eriq Gardner and others. Before joining The Hollywood Reporter, Belloni was a lawyer at an entertainment litigation firm in Los Angeles. He writes a column for THR devoted to entertainment law. Gardner is a New York-based writer and legal journalist. Send tips or comments to

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