Press Releases: February 2003
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 EFF Staff Attorney Gwen Hinze.
"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."
Electronic Frontier Foundation
+1 415 436-9333 x110 (office)
Rothken Law Firm
+1 415 924-4250
"We're still reeling from the original USA-Patriot Act's impact on civil liberties and now the government wants more," said Cindy Cohn, EFF's Legal Director. "Where is the evidence that the law passed less than two years ago is insufficient? When will Congress draw the line and say 'this much of our civil liberties you've taken under the guise of terrorism -- you may have no more'?"