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Court Orders Internet Rebroadcaster ivi To Halt Service

in Copyright/Media/Media Ownership by

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"

Nate Hakken is a native of Washington, DC. As the son of two itinerant academics, Nate spent much of his childhood living in England and Scandinavia. He has a B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College, as well as a J.D. from Vermont Law School, where he studied Internet and technology law. Nate is a jack-of-all-trades, having worked as a sound engineer, teacher, camp director, outdoor adventure guide, and medical researcher. Outside of work, he is an avid cyclist who competes across the Mid-Atlantic and has been known to play the guitar when asked nicely.


  1. If People Can Sign Legal Papers To back Up IVI.TV service that would prove that we as internet viewers deserve it and it’s better then trying to deal with Digital TV over the air and how it does not work.

  2. Copyright law allows for the rebroadcast of cable television transmissions, and this is part of the Copyright Act.

    The judge ruled 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.” That’s strange, I just looked up the act it defines a cable system as…

    “a facility that serves only subscribers in 1 or more multiple unit dwellings under common ownership, control, or management, unless such facility or facilities uses any public right-of-way;’ and a facility that serves subscribers without using any public right-of-way;’. (

    It sounds like another illiterate judge who knows nothing about television and broadcasting giving rulings on the subject. What an idiot.

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