Judge: FilmOn Entitled to Compulsory License of Programming

Less than a year after the Supreme Court shut down Aereo for delivering OTA TV signals to Internet subscribers, a U.S. District Court in California granted FilmOn, an Internet video streaming site, a compulsory license to retransmit TV station programming online. The difference between the two cases, says the judge, was that the Supreme Court did not address whether Aereo was entitled to a compulsory license, but rather found that it violated copyright laws. Fox Broadcasting has said it will appeal the ruling favoring FilmOn. Continue reading Judge: FilmOn Entitled to Compulsory License of Programming

Judge Rules Against Aereo, Can No Longer Retransmit Live TV

A New York federal judge has ruled against TV-over-the-Internet startup Aereo and in favor of a group of major broadcasters including Disney’s ABC, CBS Corp., Twenty-First Century Fox, Comcast’s NBC, and PBS. Judge Alison Nathan ordered that Aereo’s “Watch Now” system be shut down. “The Supreme Court has concluded that Aereo performs publicly when it retransmits Plaintiffs’ content live over the Internet and thus infringes Plaintiffs’ copyrighted works,” wrote Judge Nathan in her 17-page opinion yesterday. Continue reading Judge Rules Against Aereo, Can No Longer Retransmit Live TV

Senators Propose to Unbundle Local Broadcast TV Channels

Senators Jay Rockefeller and John Thune have introduced a proposal to let cable and satellite subscribers choose which broadcast TV channels they receive. The proposal intends to limit the blackouts when cable and satellite companies must negotiate retransmission fees with broadcasters. Broadcast advocacy groups have expressed opposition to the proposal. They believe cable and satellite companies need to cut hidden fees, not the broadcast channels, to lower cable bills. Continue reading Senators Propose to Unbundle Local Broadcast TV Channels

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

Aereo Shifts Gears, Tells Court it is Now a Cable Provider

In the wake of the Supreme Court’s ruling that Aereo’s online TV streaming service violated copyright law, company lawyers have filed a letter with a New York district court claiming that Aereo now views itself as a cable provider. If Aereo can obtain a license, it contends that it is entitled to the same protections as other providers paying royalty fees. This is a dramatic shift in strategy for the company that previously said it would shutter if the Supreme Court did not rule in its favor. Continue reading Aereo Shifts Gears, Tells Court it is Now a Cable Provider

Aereo Competitors Moving In Following Supreme Court Ruling

The Supreme Court ruled against Aereo in a case brought by TV networks, citing violation of copyright laws. Aereo, which provided an Internet-based alternative to cable by capturing broadcast signals on tiny antennas and transmitting them to subscribers, has since suspended its operations. Meanwhile, rivals such as Simple.TV and Mohu are moving in, and hope to avoid the ruling by selling over-the-air antennas to their subscribers along with hardware to access streaming services. Continue reading Aereo Competitors Moving In Following Supreme Court Ruling

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?

Aereo Supreme Court Case Could Upend Cloud Computing

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court heard arguments in the Aereo case that could cause legal implications for cloud computing businesses such as Dropbox and Google, especially if remote storage and data transmission are classified as “public performance.” Broadcasters accuse the Internet startup Aereo of violating copyright laws by using antennas to stream over-the-air broadcasts to paid subscribers. Justices will determine if Aereo’s service is “public performance” that requires permission. Continue reading Aereo Supreme Court Case Could Upend Cloud Computing

Will Networks Consider Cable or OTT Service to Combat Aereo?

CBS Chief Executive Officer Les Moonves said the network would consider launching its own over-the-top streaming TV service with other leading television networks if the Supreme Court rules that New York-based startup Aereo is allowed to continue reselling broadcast programming over the Internet without permission. The Supreme Court is expected to rule on the Aereo case later this year. “We are going to win either way,” Moonves said. Continue reading Will Networks Consider Cable or OTT Service to Combat Aereo?

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

Aereo Not Opposing Broadcasters’ Pursuit of Judicial Review

In the ongoing battle against broadcasters, Chet Kanojia, head of cloud-based DVR company Aereo said in a statement the company would “not oppose the broadcasters’ petition for certiorari before the United States Supreme Court.” If the Court decides to hear the case in 2014, Aereo could possibly benefit from freed-up resources to expand nationwide. As is, broadcasters’ stand on cloud-based services by Google, Amazon and Apple could threaten those services’ very existence. Continue reading Aereo Not Opposing Broadcasters’ Pursuit of Judicial Review

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

CEO Says Aereo Will Be Profitable Before One Million Subs

Aereo’s CEO and founder Chet Kanojia claims that the company will be profitable before achieving one million subscribers. Aereo is not disclosing its subscriber numbers, but the company could earn a profit with only hundreds of thousands of subscribers, according to Kanojia. Television broadcasters have been unsuccessful so far in preventing Aereo from operating. The service is expanding into new regions this year to cover a total of 22 cities. Continue reading CEO Says Aereo Will Be Profitable Before One Million Subs