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California Judge Reaffirms Viewers’ Rights to Record TV and Play It Back However They Like

January 21, 2015 , ,

Judge Dolly Gee of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California has ruled in a summary judgment that DISH's Hopper and Sling DVRs (and their associated services) do not infringe copyright. The judge also ruled that consumers do not infringe copyright when they use these devices. This makes it clear that viewers have the right to record programming, play it back anywhere (from a device or through streaming), and in the manner they choose — even without commercials.

Public Knowledge has filed amicus briefs in this case and related litigation.

The following statement can be attributed to John Bergmayer, Senior Staff Attorney at Public Knowledge:

“While the Supreme Court's decision in Aereo created some uncertainty as to the future of viewer rights with respect to programming, this decision is a welcome indication that TV viewers still have the right to record TV they have lawful access to, and play it back at the time and place and in the manner of their choosing. As Judge Gee's opinion demonstrates, the law is clear on this point, and companies like DISH can continue developing and marketing services and devices that allow consumers to use their rights.”

A redacted version of the ruling can be found here.