[opendtv] Re: News: Users Don't Want VOD To Be C.O.D., Want It Free

  • From: "Manfredi, Albert E" <albert.e.manfredi@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "OpenDTV (E-mail)" <opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 13 May 2005 15:25:07 -0400

Craig Birkmaier wrote:

> The problem is one that i have noted frequently as
> a major drawback to "Free VOD" services...
> You can't give away something if it costs you money.

True. It costs money for the cable company to enable
VOD service, not just to install the hardware and
software but also the bandwidth VOD takes up in their
cable plant. And it costs money to buy the content
that is good enough to make people want to even bother
with VOD. So somehow, those costs have to be

> Unlike PVRs, which are currently protected by the
> Fair Use rights established in the Betamax decision,
> cable operators cannot make programming available
> via their VOD systems without permission form the
> content owners.

Not unlike any other copyright. You also cannot copy
sections of books, or magazine articles, or paintings,
and expect to make money selling this stuff without
permission from the copyright holder. Even if you
bought the magazine or book. Some web sites are
quite intolerant of any copying at all, for any
reason at all, without their permission.

Exceptions seem to be made when this copying is done
for personal use or for school papers. But even that
is not always stated explicitly.

The beauty of the personal recorder approach to time
shifting is that it creates no cost to the
distribution system whatsoever and, of course, also
that it's covered by the fair use law.

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