UPDATE, 10:51 AM: Aereo spokesperson Virginia Lam says the company is “disappointed that the judge declined to rule on the merits on an emergency basis” but adds that it is “confident that when the merits are considered in connection with a preliminary injunction motion, Aereo will prevail.”
PREVIOUS, 8:14 AM: U.S. District Court Judge Audrey Collins yesterday denied “without prejudice” the temporary restraining order that Aereo requested as part of its trademark infringement suit against FilmOn‘s Alki David. Aereo is suing FilmOn and David for creating a site called Aero.tv that streams broadcast station programming — much like Aereo’s service. “By intentionally selecting a name that is confusingly similar to Aereo’s mark, Defendants are likely to confuse and divert consumers, inducing them to use Defendants’ business rather than Aereo’s,” the suit alleges. The company, backed by IAC chief Barry Diller, wants the U.S. District Court in Los Angeles to bar David from using the Aero name, transfer the Aero.tv domain to Aereo, and pay court costs and triple damages. David had already sued Aereo saying he has the right to its name after he recently picked up the trademark to a product called “WinTV-Aero-m” that’s been around since 2011. He warns there’ll be ”another barrage of lawsuits” if Aereo doesn’t comply.
In a perfect world, FilmOn’s Alki David would stop fooling around with personal and corporate names and let the courts deal with serious questions instead of whether he’s done something to sully someone’s reputation or infringe on a trademark. … Read More »
U.S. broadcasters still want the courts to pull the plug on Aereo, the streaming service that they say violates their copyrights. In a similar fight in the UK, broadcasters ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5 today won a victory over TVCatchup.com, a service that streams free-to-air shows from the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Sky. In a landmark ruling, the European Court of Justice said websites that retransmit live TV without permission from the broadcasters are in breach of copyright. The case was spurred by an earlier one brought in London which sought the higher court’s take in 2011. The broadcasters in question alleged, among other things, that TVC’s retransmissions constitute a ‘communication to the public’ which is prohibited both by national law and by an EU Directive. The ECJ today agreed (read the ruling here).
In a statement, the ECJ said today, “EU law seeks to establish a high level of protection for authors of works, allowing them to obtain an appropriate reward for the use of those works including on the occasion of communication to the public. To that end, authors have an exclusive right to authorize or prohibit any communication of their works to the public.” Under a 2001 law, original broadcasters are “authors” of their programming. Read More »
Broadcasters still want the courts to pull the plug on Aereo, the streaming service that they say violates their copyrights. But that isn’t stopping the Barry Diller-backed company, which vigorously rejects the broadcasters’ claims, from … Read More »
I’m getting a headache trying to keep track of FilmOn‘s Alki David feud with Aereo, and especially the lawsuits over who has the right to use different corporate names. David’s already defending himself in a … Read More »
Listen to episode 19 of our audio podcast Deadline Big Media With David Lieberman. This week Deadline Executive Editor Lieberman and host David Bloom discuss the potential impact on Hollywood as a result of the President’s efforts to reduce gun violence; the news coming out of former corporate siblings Viacom and CBS; and expansion plans by online TV service, Aereo.
Deadline Big Media Episode 19 (MP3 format)
Deadline Big Media Episode 19 (MP4a format) Read More »
Aereo is a mouse of a company, but it’s frightening a lot of Big Media elephants. After launching in New York nearly a year ago, the service — which streams broadcasters’ over-the-air signals to subscribers who typically pay $8 a month — just announced an ambitious plan to expand to 22 additional cities this year with $38M in Series B funding led by Barry Diller’s IAC and Highland Capital Partners. It’s also beginning to move beyond broadcast: Founder and CEO Chet Kanojia is talking to pay TV channels and Hollywood studios about contributing to Aereo’s programming.
That worries virtually every major broadcaster: Networks and stations don’t receive a dime from Aereo and have sued, alleging that it violates their copyrights. If Aereo wins, then pay TV providers may be emboldened to reject broadcasters’ demands for rising retransmission consent fees — one of the fastest growing sources of revenues for station owners including ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC. Aereo says that it’s perfectly legal to lease over-the-air antennas and add DVR-like capabilities to record shows, fast-forward and rewind.
I caught up with Kanojia last week at the International CES show in Las Vegas. Here’s our conversation, edited for length and clarity:
DEADLINE: You’re adding 22 cities this year. Is that it for now?
CHET KANOJIA: That’s Phase 1. That’ll hopefully keep us busy through the summer.
DEADLINE: And then?
KANOJIA: Then we’ll do more. We hope to do all the major markets as soon as we can. I think of 2013 and 2014 as build years for us. A lot of infrastructure build-out, get the customer adoption going, get the message right. That gives us a base to move to the next level. The next level may include digital programming, new channels, and who knows what.
DEADLINE: New channels, such as what? Read More »
Broadcasters who are challenging Aereo‘s right to stream their programming to local viewers in New York City will have more to worry about soon. The fledgling company says that it will offer its service to more than 97M consumers by year’s end as it expands to 22 additional cities: Boston, Miami, Austin, Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Washington DC, Baltimore, Detroit, Denver, Minneapolis, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Tampa, Cleveland, Kansas City, Raleigh-Durham (NC), Salt Lake City, Birmingham (AL), Providence (RI), and Madison (WI). The company calls it “the first phase” of its growth effort. It’s also being helped by an additional $38M in Series B funding led by Barry Diller’s IAC and Highland Capital Partners. Aereo subscribers can pay $1 a day, $8 a month or $80 a year to have their local broadcast TV signals streamed to them, as long as they’re in the local market. It also provides a DVR-like capability to record shows, and to pause, rewind and fast-forward. Read More »
The dispute “goes far beyond the fate of one company,” Aereo‘s Chet Kanojia says today in a passionate blog post about the copyright infringement suits major broadcasters have filed against the Barry Diller-backed streaming … Read More »
Barry Diller’s IAC/InterActiveCorp-backed online-television streaming startup Aereo has made a deal to add Bloomberg TV as its first cable network offering. Aereo is paying Bloomberg for the privilege, according to the Wall Street Journal. Terms weren’t disclosed. … Read More »
Cablevision’s amicus brief asking the U.S. Court of Appeals in New York to deem Aereo illegal could sting the fledgling Internet streaming company. Aereo and its defenders frequently cite a case involving Cablevision to justify the service. The court in 2008 agreed with Cablevision’s defense of its Remote Storage DVR technology (RS-DVR), and rejected broadcasters’ copyright infringement arguments. Judges said that the RS-DVRs operate just like home DVRs, even though they store programs on a central server instead of a set top box. Aereo, which is backed by IAC/InterActiveCorp chief Barry Diller, says the same logic applies to its service. Aereo says it rents antennas to subscribers so they can receive free, over-the-air broadcast signals — just as they could at home — before it streams the programming to them via the Internet. But Cablevision says there’s a big difference between its RS-DVRs and Aereo: ”Cablevision pays statutory licensing and retransmission consent fees for the content it retransmits, while Aereo does not,” the brief says. Read More »
A federal appeals court has affirmed a lower court injunction that barred early streaming service IVI from rebroadcasting network and TV station signals over the Internet. IVI, which launched in 2010, had argued that it was the same as a cable system and should be allowed to retransmit the signals … Read More »
Barry Diller is taking BarryDriller to court. In a 12-page complaint filed against Alki David and BarryDriller.com Tuesday in Los Angeles federal court (read it here) the media mogul alleges David is using his name to profit … Read More »
Digital entrepreneur Alki David has a characteristically tough sounding response to the suit against his BarryDriller streaming video service that Fox filed yesterday at U.S. District Court in California. ”Bring it on Fox, you have no idea what you have just done,” he says. But the company’s case against BarryDriller is consistent with the arguments that Fox and other broadcasters have raised against Aereo — the Barry Diller-backed service that also offers subscribers online streams of over-the-air programming. The complaint notes that since Tuesday the defendant, BarryDriller Content Systems, has infringed on Fox’s copyrights and trademarks by retransmitting its broadcast shows without the company’s permission. It specifically cites Fox-owned shows taken from KABC, and KTTV. “The rights to transmit Plaintiffs’ programming over the Internet and to portable devices are extremely valuable,” Fox says. It wants the court to enjoin the BarryDriller service and require it to pay unspecified damages. David and Aereo have said they’re just offering programming that broadcasters already make available for free. Fox says, though, that “No amount of technological gimmickry by Defendants changes the fundamental principle of copyright law that those who wish to retransmit Plaintiffs’ broadcasts may do so only with Plaintiffs’ authority.” Read More »
The CEO told analysts this evening he’s “very confident” that the copyright infringement charges that CBS and other broadcasters are raising against Aereo will prevail in U.S. District Court. That appeared questionable last month when Judge Alison … Read More »
The broadcasters who provide free TV won’t like this new twist on that concept. Aereo says that it will offer consumers its controversial streams of local TV stations’ programming without charge for an hour a day in its first market, New York City. The change is part of an overhaul of its pricing that’s designed to entice additional people to try the service. But it’s sure to infuriate broadcasters who say Aereo infringes on their copyrights. The Barry Diller-backed service uses tiny antennas to capture TV station signals which it transmits online to subscribers’ computers and mobile devices, adding DVR-like recording and playback capabilities. The hitch is that Aereo doesn’t pay broadcasters. The company says in its release today that “consumers have a fundamental right to access over the air television that broadcasts on the public airwaves, and that enhancing and supporting public access to that local broadcast signal is important.” Two weeks ago the major broadcast networks leading the fight against Aereo lost their effort to shut it down pending a trial on whether the service is legal. Although it has just launched in NYC, Diller recently said that Aereo will be in “every major American city” by the end of 2013. Read More »
Broadcasters who are already furious with Barry Diller’s $20.5M investment in Aereo may soon become even angrier. He tells Bloomberg TV from the Allen & Co retreat in Sun Valley that by the end of next year the service will expand from New York to “every … Read More »