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Trade associations side with ReplayTV - Broadcasting & Cable

Trade associations side with ReplayTV

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Forcing ReplayTV and parent company SONICblue Inc. to hand over anonymous
customer records to entertainment companies violates privacy laws, four trade
associations told a federal court Wednesday.

'This case reflects an attempt by movie studios and television networks to
force technology companies to monitor, and even control, the way consumers use
technologies,' said Harris Miller, president of the Information Technology
Association of America.

The four trade associations -- the ITAA, the Consumer Electronics
Association, the Association for Competitive Technology and the Computer &
Communications Industry Association -- filed a friend-of-the-court brief
Wednesday in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.

In late April, a magistrate judge in the Los Angeles court ordered ReplayTV
to give a group of entertainment companies -- including AOL Time Warner Inc.,
The Walt Disney Co., NBC and Viacom Inc. -- records of how customers were using
the 'ReplayTV 4000.'

The entertainment companies said the ReplayTV 4000 allows users to eliminate
commercials and to electronic-mail television programs, which violates copyright
law. The companies want the customer records to prove their case and to force
SONICblue to stop selling the device.

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