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Will Obama Side With High-Tech or Hollywood?

Tony Mauro of Legal Times reports that the Supreme Court justices have invited the view of the solicitor general on a petition for cert filed in Cable News Network Inc. v. CSC Holdings, which concerns the issue of whether, under the Copyright Act of 1976, Cablevision’s on-demand service infringes the petitioners’ exclusive copyrights by copying, storing and transmitting its programs without an additional license.

The case is significant for at least two reasons. First, the Court's order seeking input from the solicitor made public that both Chief Justice Roberts and Alito have recused themselves from the case. Roberts owns stock in Time Warner, parent company of CNN, that was valued at between $100,001 and $500,000 as of May 15, 2008, while Alito owns less than $15,000 worth of stock in Disney, which is also a party in the case. It's difficult to predict how these justices' absence will impact the Court's final judgment.

But the case is significant for a second reason, according to the San Francisco-based Legal Pad blog, because Obama's new administration must take a side and choose to support either the content providers and copyright owners or the technology companies. Again, no prediction as to which way Obama will go -- as the post notes, "Obama loves his BlackBerry and used the Internet better than any other presidential candidate. But he’s also got big supporters in Hollywood, which has always done a lot better job lobbying than our local tech companies."

Posted by Carolyn Elefant on January 13, 2009 at 04:52 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

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