Disney, CBS, Fox sue Ivi

Walt Disney’s ABC, CBS and other broadcasters have sued Ivi, an online subscription service, for streaming television programmes over the Web without authorisation. The companies, also including Fox, NBC and the Public Broadcasting Service, have accused Ivi and its founder Todd Weaver of copyright infringement in a federal court complaint in New York.

Ivi, based in Seattle, began streaming TV stations there and in New York 24 hours a day to Web subscribers worldwide on September 13th, according to the lawsuit. Viewers would pay $4.99 a month after a 30-day free trial, the complaint said. Broadcasters have deals with companies including Hulu, Netflix and Apple to stream TV shows. Hulu’s owners include NBC, Fox and ABC.

On September 20th, Ivi and Weaver filed suit in federal court in Seattle seeking a ruling that Ivi isn’t infringing copyrights. “Big media is choosing to fight Internet delivery the same way they fought against cable delivery and satellite delivery, when in reality it is legal to retransmit,” Weaver said. “Broadcasters charge more in advertising due to the increase in viewers. It is too bad big media must fight innovation that is legal, pays them and increases their revenue.”