Cablevision amicus brief largely backs studios in Zediva case

by Ben Sheffner 07/18/2011 17:02 (UTC-08:00) Pacific Time (US & Canada)

In a very interesting development, Cablevision today filed an amicus brief that largely backs the positions taken by the MPAA member studios in their lawsuit against the unlicensed video-on-demand service Zediva. Cablevision’s brief strongly supports the studios’ position in several respects. First, it agrees with us that Zediva’s service transmits movies “to the public” within the meaning of the Copyright Act. Second, it agrees with us that Zediva is a video-on-demand service, not a bricks-and-mortar “rental” service like Blockbuster. As the brief states on page 3, “conventional video-on-demand systems have always been understood to require public performance licenses” – licenses Zediva did not obtain. While we don’t agree with or endorse everything in Cablevision’s brief, the fact that it largely supports the studios’ positions is particularly significant given that Cablevision was on the opposite side from the studios in The Cartoon Network LP, LLLP v. CSC Holdings, Inc. (the “Cablevision case”). The hearing on the studios’ motion for a preliminary injunction is set for July 25 in federal court in Los Angeles.

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