SONICblue – manufacturer of controversial digital video recorder ReplayTV 4000 – has won a stay of a court order that would have forced it to install eavesdropping devices in new and existing units in order to monitor viewing habits.

The company is being sued by a host of media firms (including NBC, Paramount, Universal, Columbia, CBS and Disney) [WAMN: 14-May-02] for copyright infringement. Plaintiffs are particularly alarmed by the power ReplayTV gives viewers to skip ad breaks and email TV programs to friends.

The original court order demanded that SONICblue fit the software within 60 days to track ReplayTV users’ viewing behaviour. However, a judge has granted a stay of this order until June 3, when the court will decide whether to strike down the initial ruling.

Data sourced from: BBC Online Business News (UK); additional content by WARC staff