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Networks Slam SONICBlue With Suit

11/01/2001 08:42:00 AM Eastern

New York - Three major broadcast networks have filed a lawsuit against SONICBlue claiming its Internet-ready ReplayTV 4000 personal video recorder series allows consumers to illegally copy and distribute programming.

The Replay 4000 can connect directly to the Web and has a feature that eliminates commercials from recorded programs. NBC, ABC and CBS claim in their suit, filed in a California Federal Court, that people using the Replay 4000 could distribute digital copies of television content on the web. The networks also said the commercial-cutting component will deprive them of income and the ability to create new shows.

The four offerings in the 4000 series are: the ReplayTV 4040 with up to 40 hours of storage for $699; ReplayTV 4080 with up to 80 hours of storage for $999; ReplayTV 4160 with up to 160 hours of storage for $1,499; and the ReplayTV 4320 with up to 320 hours of storage for $1,999. These have been available directly from SONICBlue since September and are expected to hit retail this month.