Aereokiller, FilmOn.com ordered to shut down
Michelle Clancy | 31-12-2012
A federal judge in California has issued a preliminary injunction preventing FilmOn.com and the 'Aereokiller' service from broadcasting live TV feeds from ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC over the Internet without paying retransmission fees.
Judge George Wu of the US District Court for the Central District of California deemed that the services are infringing on broadcaster copyrights. The services will need to close down by 3 January.
Aereokiller and FilmOn.com referred to a ruling earlier this year by the US District Court for the Southern District of New York denying a preliminary injunction against Aereo (the Web TV service owned by Barry Diller). That case centred on a precedent set by a ruling by the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit that Cablevision Systems' network DVR was a private performance rather than a broadcast, and therefore not subject to retransmission fees.
However, Wu "would find that Defendants' transmissions are public performances, and therefore infringe Plaintiffs' exclusive right of public performance," Wu wrote. "The Court finds that Defendants' unique-copy transmission argument based on Cablevision and Aereo is not binding in the Ninth Circuit."
Further, there are demonstrable damages by the services on broadcasters.
"Revenues from retransmission consent licensing have become increasingly important to the broadcast industry, and are used to fund the development and acquisition of broadcast programming," Wu said. "Defendants' service also competes with Plaintiffs' ability to develop their own Internet distribution channels."