SAN FRANCISCO, October 19th, 2010 -- As the landmark dispute over retransmission consent fees between Fox and Cablevision threatens to drag on through Tuesday, New York area baseball fans who are also Cablevision subscribers are scrambling to make alternative plans to view or hear the game.
One ostensibly legal option they have is to view the Tuesday game between the San Francisco Giants and the Philadelphia Phillies on a new internet television service that retransmits broadcasters' signals over the internet.
The Seattle-based start-up ivi launched a new service mid-September that streams live television over the internet from ABC, Fox, NBC, CBS, The CW, and PBS.
Users download a program onto their computers, provide their credit card information and are promised a one-month free trial before having to pay $4.99 a month.
It's not clear yet whether the service falls under the parameters of current copyright law, although the founders of the web site contends that it does, and have filed a pre-emptive lawsuit in federal district court against the broadcasters to establish that contention.
In a suit filed in federal district court for the Western District of Washington late September, ivi says that the Copyright Act specifically allows others to retransmit broadcasters' signals as long as they pay the fees to the broadcasters as spelled out under federal law.
""The Copyright Act expressly approves of the secondary transmission of an original television broadcast where the secondary transmission is subject to a statutory license," a team of ivi's lawyers told the court in its filing.
"ivi is not another Pirate Bay or Napster trying to gain from others' works," said ivi's Founder and CEO Todd Weaver in a statement accompanying its pre-emptive lawsuit. "We recognize that it is disruptive to existing cable offerings and remain confident that we have adopted a model that is allowed under all applicable laws."
ivi filed suit against ABC, CBS, CW Broadcasting, Disney, Fisher Communications, Fox Television, Major League Baseball, NBC Universal, Twentieth Century Fox, WGBH Educational Foundation, and WNET.org.
A group of 24 broadcasters and the Office of the Commissioner of Baseball for their parts filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against ivi in federal district court for Southern New York just over a week later.
The group's lawyers argued in a court filing that ivi doesn't qualify under copyright law as a "cable system" entitled to make use of the law's compulsory licensing provisions.
"Defendants are nothing more than publicity-seeking pirates that use the pretext of a non-existent loophole to exploit the creative efforts of plaintiffs and other broadcast stations and copyright owners for unjust profit," the group's lawyers wrote.
Major League Baseball has its own web site and iPAD application that streams games online live, but some people who've used it claim that it's "horrible."
Other fans who are Cablevision subscribers in New York called in Monday to a New York City public radio station to discuss ways to access Tuesday's game online. Among the suggestions were access via "Project Free TV" and tuning into retransmission via Justin.tv.
- Slogans About Data Portability on Tech Platforms Don’t Capture Intellectual Property and Interoperability Issues
- Application Deadline of July 15 Announced for $16 Billion Rural Digital Opportunity Fund Auction
- National Digital Currency Could Expedite Stimulus Checks, Unlock Other Possibilities
- Collaborative Smart City Pilots Show Promise in Improving Internet Access
- Apartment Industry Sees Stable Payments, Labor Shortages and Preventative Innovations
Signup for Broadband Breakfast
China4 weeks ago
China Expert Predicts that Nation’s Flawed Coronavirus Response Will Damage the Power of Chinese Communist Party
Digital Inclusion1 month ago
FCC’s Jessica Rosenworcel Calls for Wi-Fi School Buses, and Brookings Panelists Agree Now is the Time
Broadband Data1 month ago
CenturyLink CTO Boasts Success in Handling Coronavirus-Induced ‘Hot’ Networks, Credits Company’s Fiber Push
Big Tech2 weeks ago
The Rise, Reign, and Self-Repair of Zoom
Net Neutrality1 month ago
Public Interest Groups Blast FCC For Refusal to Extend Public Safety Deadline on Net Neutrality Comments
#broadbandlive4 weeks ago
Broadband Breakfast Live Online on Wednesday, April 29, 2020 – Will the Coronavirus Lead to a Loss of Privacy? Weighing Contact Tracing and Broadband Surveillance
Broadband's Impact1 month ago
Artificial Intelligence Not Very Helpful in Addressing the Coronavirus, Say Experts on Brookings Panel
Rural3 weeks ago
Why the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund is So Significant, and How to Succeed in Applying For RDOF