Record companies accustomed to battering firms like Napster in the courts over copyright issues are now going to have to face their own customers over the rights to copy content.
In one action, five major record companies have been hit with a class-action lawsuit over technology that blocks the copying of music CDs.
The case claims that embedded code in CDs to prevent copying renders the disks unreliable for playback on some computers and older CD players.
In another case, the online rights group Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has issued an action on behalf of five users of the ReplayTV 4000 digital video recorder against a number of Hollywood studios and television networks including Disney, NBC and Viacom.
The EFF wants a Los Angeles federal judge to declare it legal to use the machine to digitally record television shows for later personal viewing - an exemption to copyright law called "fair use".
The plaintiffs in both cases are arguing that the guarding of intellectual property is starting to infringe on their rights to use and enjoy digital content.
At the heart of their argument is their assertion of their fair use of rights, which were agreed when a court allowed users to use videotape recorders to tape television shows for later viewing.
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