U.S. Copyright Office Suggests Aereo is Not a Cable Company

In a 6-3 decision last month, the Supreme Court ruled that Aereo was in violation of copyright law by using tiny antennas to stream broadcast TV online to subscribers. Since the court said that Aereo acted too much like a cable company to broadcast without paying fees, the startup attempted to embrace the ruling by offering to pay retransmission fees. Whether or not the new approach will work with the networks (or in court), the U.S. Copyright Office is now siding with the content owners. Continue reading U.S. Copyright Office Suggests Aereo is Not a Cable Company

TV Networks to Benefit by Unbundling from Cable Packages?

Television networks are currently entangled in expensive negotiations with cable companies over retransmission fees and rights to stream content on other devices. However, if a TV network were to sell its shows directly online with a Netflix-like subscription, GigaOM speculates that the network could still remain profitable and consumers would not have to pay for expensive cable packages. This new model could potentially redefine content distribution via the Internet and television. Continue reading TV Networks to Benefit by Unbundling from Cable Packages?

Will Proposed FCC Regulations Create a Two-Speed Internet?

The Federal Communications Commission has proposed to allow broadband providers to charge fees for high-speed Internet for faster delivery of video and other data, essentially allowing a premium Internet fast-lane for companies that can pay. Small content providers may not be able to compete because they do not have the resources to pay for high delivery speeds. The regulations would also prohibit broadband companies from blocking or slowing down individual websites. Continue reading Will Proposed FCC Regulations Create a Two-Speed Internet?

TV Networks Battle Aereo, Gain Support of Justice Department

ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC filed a 59-page brief to the Supreme Court a few weeks ago that detailed how online video startup Aereo is stealing their programming and undermining the TV business model. The filing also noted that “a ruling against Aereo would pose no threat to innovative online-distribution services such as Hulu, Netflix, and Amazon,” since those services “pay for the right to use copyrighted content.” In a Supreme Court filing yesterday, the Justice Department backed the networks in their fight with Aereo. Continue reading TV Networks Battle Aereo, Gain Support of Justice Department

Pandora Lawsuit Could Impact Music Industry’s Royalty Model

For the past 73 years, the Justice Department has governed licensing organizations ASCAP and BMI to ensure songwriters receive fair royalty rates when their songs are played. Now Pandora is taking on ASCAP in a trial over royalty payments that is being carefully followed by the publishing industry. Music publishers including Sony/ATV and Universal are calling for an overhaul of the system, while tech firms are claiming that publishers are attempting to skirt federal rules designed to protect them.

Continue reading Pandora Lawsuit Could Impact Music Industry’s Royalty Model

Writers Guild Cautions Against Stiff Copyright Enforcement

A statement from the Writers Guild of America West raises the group’s concerns regarding copyright infringement fees and agreements, digital sales and other related issues. The letter particularly references the “notice and takedown” system of copyrighted material shared on the Web, noting that the system’s intentions are good, but may also cause potential harm. The statement was written in response to a recent green paper on copyright policy. Continue reading Writers Guild Cautions Against Stiff Copyright Enforcement

Verizon Will Likely Respond to T-Mobile’s Aggressive Prices

Following a 3 percent drop in market value, Verizon has hinted at plans to get competitive in pricing, which customers will likely appreciate, but investors might not. The telco lost about $4 billion of its value, and some say it’s directly related to the competition among telcos to be the most aggressively priced. T-Mobile has been most notably aggressive in its pricing strategies, attracting new customers and possibly forcing Verizon to lower its fees as well. Continue reading Verizon Will Likely Respond to T-Mobile’s Aggressive Prices

Broadcasters Head to Supreme Court in Battle Against Aereo

The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear an appeal filed by broadcasters against the Aereo online TV service. Disney’s ABC, CBS Broadcasting, Comcast’s NBCUniversal and 21st Century Fox are among those who argue that Barry Diller-backed Aereo violates copyrights by using tiny antennas to access broadcast signals without paying fees. Media companies appealed a decision by the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in April that denied their request to shutter Aereo while legal issues are being addressed. Continue reading Broadcasters Head to Supreme Court in Battle Against Aereo

Google Unveils New Prepaid Debit Card Using Google Wallet

Google is now offering a prepaid debit card that can be used in stores and at ATMs. Using Google Wallet, consumers will be able to access funds just like they would with a regular debit card. The Wallet Card will be accepted wherever MasterCard is accepted, and is free without any monthly fees. The card will also provide Google with consumer information like what was purchased and for how much — even the name and address of the consumer would be recorded. Continue reading Google Unveils New Prepaid Debit Card Using Google Wallet

NFL and MLB: If Aereo Not Challenged, Sports May Go to Cable

The National Football League and Major League Baseball are trying to convince the Supreme Court to grant broadcasters’ petition to challenge Aereo, a startup that enables unauthorized streaming of local broadcast signals. The NFL and MLB filed an amicus brief that suggests that if Aereo is not challenged, sports programming will likely switch over to cable. Broadcasters assert that Aereo undermines their ability to collect retransmission fees. Continue reading NFL and MLB: If Aereo Not Challenged, Sports May Go to Cable

Cable Companies Consider Aereo-Like Services to Bypass Fees

In response to the ongoing legal battles involving startup Aereo and the potential disruption regarding pay TV, companies including DirecTV, Time Warner Cable and Charter Communications are reportedly considering the idea of capturing free broadcast TV signals to avoid paying significant retransmission fees, according to people with knowledge of the discussions. Major broadcasters have also stated they would consider a conversion to cable if Aereo stays in business. Continue reading Cable Companies Consider Aereo-Like Services to Bypass Fees

Live Nation and Ticketmaster Invite Resellers to New System

Live Nation Entertainment and its Ticketmaster subsidiary will now offer tickets to be sold by resellers via its new TM+ feature. In order for the new platform to succeed, Live Nation and Ticketmaster must convince resellers, rather than competitors, to use it. The two companies have been looking to boost their role in the $4 billion per year concert ticket reselling market, currently dominated by scalpers and brokers that buy tickets at face value, then resell them for a profit on sites such as eBay’s StubHub.com. Continue reading Live Nation and Ticketmaster Invite Resellers to New System

Mobile Net Spending to Exceed Home Broadband for First Time

According to PricewaterhouseCoopers’ “Entertainment & Media Outlook 2013-2017” report, consumer spending on mobile Internet access will surpass spending on home broadband connections this year. Combined spending is projected to grow from $91 billion in 2012 to $153.3 billion in 2017. The report also predicts that 87 percent of the U.S. population (286.7 million people) will have mobile Internet devices within four years. Continue reading Mobile Net Spending to Exceed Home Broadband for First Time