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Is the Internet the same thing as cable TV?

In case that was a serious question in your mind, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals answered it last week:

In September 2010, ivi, Inc. began live streaming WPIX’s copyrighted programming over the internet to paying subscribers who downloaded ivi’s TV player onto their computers. Specifically, ivi retransmitted television signals from New York, Seattle, Chicago and Los Angeles broadcast television stations. A group of producers and owners of copyrighted television programming, including WPIX, Inc., sued ivi for copyright infringement and moved for a preliminary injunction to stop the service. In response, ivi asserted an affirmative defense, arguing it was a “cable system” entitled to a compulsory license under Section 111 of the Copyright Act. The US District Court for the Southern District of New York held that ivi’s service was not a cable system and granted the preliminary injunction.

The US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed. It agreed with the SDNY that ivi’s internet TV service was not a cable system under Section 111 of the Copyright Act, which defines cable system as a facility that receives signals transmitted or programs broadcast by one or more television broadcast stations.

Which is not how hardly anyone would define the Internet.  The full decision is here.

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Author:Ron Coleman

I write this blog.

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