The Supreme Court without comment rejected attempts to overturn two big entertainment cases on Monday. In one, TV networks and TV station owners won a court order that effectively shut down pay-TV service ivi’s effort to offer viewers TV signals over the web without paying broadcasters retransmission fees.
Ivi Inc. lost its bid to overturn a court-ordered shutdown of its business of capturing over-the-air television signals and transmitting them to online subscribers. A lower-court judge was correct in granting TV broadcasters such as CBS Corp. a preliminary order last year that put Ivi out of business, a panel of federal appeals judges ruled today in New York.
Bamboom Labs, the latest company seeking to redistribute broadcast TV signals over the Internet, is inviting viewers in New York to become beta testers of the service. Based in Long Island City, N.Y., Bamboon proposes to serve subscribers and circumvent copyright laws that have frustrated others by assigning each sub his or her own antenna and space in the Bamboom cloud. Subs can either stream the broadcast signals to their desktops or mobile broadband devices live or record them for playback at their convenience.
“Ivi will appeal to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, will explore congressional and administrative solutions, and will continue to advance the public’s interest in a balanced reading of the copyright law,” the company said in a statement following the injunction handed down against it this week by a judge of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.
A judge in the U.S. District Court in Seattle has granted a motion by Fisher Communications and other broadcasters and networks to dismiss ivi Inc.’s suit there, concluding that ivi improperly filed the Seattle suit in anticipation of being sued by broadcasters and others in another jurisdiction. The decision clears the way for a court in New York to take up the copyright infringement case against ivi for its distribution of TV station signals over the Internet. This is the same court that recently decided in favor of broadcasters and against FilmOn, another company that was retransmitting broadcast signals over the internet without retransmission consents, and claiming it was a cable system.
The FCC sought out ivi TV CEO Todd Weaver to talk about the Comcast/NBCU merger’s online content access implications, according to a spokesman for the company.
The online program purveyor locked in a legal battle with broadcasters is launching service in three more cities.
The online service that streams local broadcast signals said its subscribers grew by 323% during the Fox blackout on Cablevision’s New York and Philadelphia systems.