WASHINGTON, February 23, 2011 – A federal judge ordered Internet video provider ivi TV to cease rebroadcasting by on Monday, after concluding the provider did not fall under the protection of the Copyright Act.
Ivi captures the over-the-air signal of broadcast stations in Seattle, New York, Chicago and Los Angeles, then streams the programming live over the Internet to subscribers. Ivi previously asserted that its service fell under the compulsory license of the Copyright Act as a cable system and had asked for a declaratory decision to that effect.
Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald of the U.S. District Court in the Southern District of New York found that Ivi’s strategy of paying a fee to the Copyright Office was not enough for Ivi to rebroadcast the video content in compliance with Copyright Act. She found that ivi was not “a cable system for purposes of the Communications Act, and thus it need not comply with the requirements of that Act and the rules of the FCC promulgated thereunder.” The decision concluded that the video provider is not a cable system the Act, and thus did not reach the question of whether they are governed by the Communications Act as a whole.
The Plaintiffs in the case included Broadcasters ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS, Fox Television Stations, Cox Media Group, and Major League Baseball .
Ivi TV’s chief executive, Todd Weaver, said in a blog on the company’s website that he was disappointed with the outcome and that the company would “appeal to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals” and “will explore Congressional and Administrative solutions”