The United States Solicitor General’s office has filed its brief (posted online here) in the long-running RS-DVR matter, popularly referred to as the “Cablevision” case. The brief is terrific. The United States takes the position that the Supreme Court should not review the case, which had been decided unanimously by the Second Circuit in favor of the cable companies. This case has significant copyright implications, as well as implications for the balance of power between cable providers and those who hold copyright interests in television and movie programming.
The Solicitor General takes the position that the case did not meet the traditional standard for the Supreme Court to grant cert and that the Second Circuit “reasonably and narrowly resolved the issues” before it. The reasoning in the brief is persuasive.
For more information: Several news outlets have the story. (The Reuters piece says that the SG “denied” the plaintiffs’ request for a hearing, which — at least in technical terms — overstates the matter a bit by implying decision-making authority in the SG. Though the Court asked for the SG’s opinion, the Court reserves the right to decide whether or not to hear the case. Practically speaking, though, that seems somewhat unlikely now, after the filing of this strong brief.) For previous coverage which touches on the procedural aspects of the case, see, e.g., an article by the LA Times’s David G Savage from January, 2009. Also, see the press release and summary page on the case published by Public Knowledge, which has worked on this matter; Gigi Sohn, the president, says she is pleased with the SG’s brief.
By way of disclosure: the United States Solicitor General and counsel of record in this matter, Elena Kagan, is my former boss when she was dean of Harvard Law School for six years prior to her appointment to the Obama Administration.