The freewheeling head of FilmOn has to stop using names including Aereokiller and BarryDriller.com for his broadcast streaming service according a settlement overseen by U.S. District Court Judge Audrey Collins. The decision appears to end three lawsuits: Last year IAC chief Barry Diller — a major investor in Aereo — sued David for creating a site called BarryDriller.com. In February, David returned fire, suing Aereo for trademark infringement after he bought the naming rights to a product called Aero. And in March, Aereo sued David for creating a site called Aero.tv. Like Aereo, FilmOn streams programming taken from over-the-air signals — and has also incurred the wrath of broadcasters who say that it violates their copyrights. A New York court has allowed Aereo to expand while it weighs the broadcasters’ challenge. But in December a California court granted a temporary injunction that applies locally against David’s service. Even so, he says that with the trademark settlements FilmOn now “can continue rolling out our service nationwide. We are currently in 45 markets compared to Aereo’s two.” He adds in a statement: “So eat s*it Barry.”
The media industry provocateur is irked that journalists (including me) take his bete noir, Barry Diller-backed Aereo, more seriously than his FilmOn.TV. But now Alki David will bring his message directly to the public. He says that he’ll start an ad campaign in the New York tri-state area to promote his streaming service with messages on TV, online, print and outdoor. His company adds that the marketing “will also be rolled out in the coming weeks in the other 30 major U.S. markets which the FilmOn service is already freely available” including Chicago, Los Angeles, Dallas, Miami, Washington DC, San Francisco and Denver. David says Boston will come online next week with other cities to be added each week “thereafter.” The first TV ad shows David “driving a red Ferrari at high speed while watching TV on a mobile phone. A second commercial featuring Mike The Situation from Jersey Shore fame will appear on local television in the coming weeks.”
I can’t tell whether the digital entrepreneur is spending a lot of money to goof on everybody, or whether he seriously believes he can generate a profit in strange enterprises that reflect his idiosyncratic sensibilities. In any case, Alki David is at it again today: He’s introducing a lineup of TV shows on KILM (Channel 64, formerly KHIZ) — where he has the operating rights, and which he’s calling FilmOn.TV LA. Personalities will include himself, Kato Kaelin, comedian Andy Dick, and model Janice Dickinson. ”This is true interactive television where the audience is able to vote and interact by webcam and/or mobile phone,” David says. It’s being carried locally by cable providers including Time Warner Cable, as well as by DirecTV and Dish Network. By the end of 2013 FilmOn.tv LA will be available “in a good percentage of the cable Universe and (over-the-air) in the USA, as well as major international territories,” David says.
UPDATE, 3:35 PM: The settlement deal that Alki David signed with CBS and other broadcasters in two copyright infringement cases is “back off,” he tells me. CBS “renegged” on the agreement by releasing it in a way designed to embarrass him, he says. “If they want to do that, I’m reneging on any agreement and I’m fighting them.” He signed the settlement on July 27 because it only required him to withdraw from his copyright infringement suit against CBS — meaning that it could continue without him. Also he says he wants to do business with CBS and other broadcasters in a new enterprise similar to Aereo. But now he says that he’s “going to go all out to drag [CBS] through the court system,” charging that the broadcaster has a “culture of deceit and underhandedness.” CBS declined to respond.