Friday, February 25, 2011

Federal Judge Enjoins Co.'s Streaming TV Stations' Programming

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U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald this week issued an injunction against Seattle-based ivi, Inc., preventing the Internet company from streaming programming of New York and Seattle television stations to its subscribers online and to mobile phones.

In the copyright infringement action, WPIX, Inc. et al. v. ivi, Inc. & Todd Weaver (Case No. 10-Civ-7415-(NRB)) Judge Buchwald enjoined the company from directly or indirectly infringing on the plaintiffs' exclusive rights under Sec. 106(1)-(5) of The U.S. Copyright Act [17 U.S.C. secs. 101-810] during the pendency of the litigation.  The defendant, which charges $4.99 a month to subscribers nationwide to stream content from television stations in New York and Seattle, argues it may do so as a "cable system" under the Copyright Act, yet contends it is not a "cable system" as defined by the Communications Act of 1934 [47 U.S.C. sec. 151 et seq.] as amended by the Telecommunications Act of 1996 [P.L. No. 104-104, 110 Stat. 56], which would require the four-year-old company to obtain re-transmission consent from the affected television stations.

Judge Buchwald did not seem impressed by the defendants' tightware-walking argument, ruling it was "extraordinarily unlikely that ivi ultimately will be deemed a cable system" under The Copyright Act. For additional information, read

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