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EFF on SonicBlue Bankruptcy

March 21, 2003

EFF on SonicBlue Bankruptcy

SonicBlue today announced its intention to file for bankruptcy protection. The company, maker of the ReplayTV digital video recorder, has been spending as much as $1 million a month in litigation expenses to defend a lawsuit brought by more than two dozen entertainment companies. The entertainment companies allege that ReplayTV owners are violating copyright law when they skip commercials. EFF represents five individual ReplayTV owners who have counter-sued the entertainment companies to establish that skipping commercials is legal.

"Today's bankruptcy sends a clear message to technology companies: you may not innovate without Hollywood's prior approval, on pain of enormous litigation expenses." said Gwen Hinze, EFF staff attorney.

"This puts the case on hold for the short term," said Ira Rothken of the Rothken Law Firm, lead lawyer on behalf of the individual ReplayTV owners. "Much will depend on the details of the bankruptcy, but we are still very interested in making it clear that Hollywood cannot use copyright law to force consumers to watch commercials."

Gwen Hinze can be reached at (415) 436-9333 x110.
Ira Rothken can be reached at (415) 924-4250.

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