3 Count: Supreme Appeal

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1: TV Broadcasters Ask Supreme Court to Review Aereo Dispute

First off today, Eriq Gardner at The Hollywood Reporter Esquire reports that film broadcasters have filed a writ of certiorari, asking the Supreme Court to take a look at one of the key questions in its case against Aereo.

Aereo is a TV streaming service that uses a series of tiny antenna, one per customer, to capture over-the-air broadcast television and stream it online to customer devices as well as record it via a remote DVR. Broadcasters sued Aereo but failed to get an injunction in both New York and Boston and failed again on appeal in New York. However, Aereo-like service, FilmOn, has been successfully enjoined in both California and Washington D.C.

The broadcasters have asked the Supreme Court to take a look at the subject, specifically “whether a company ‘publicly performs’ a copyrighted television program when it retransmits a broadcast of that program to thousands of paid subscribers over the Internet.” This move has been widely anticipated though some cable companies feel that the broadcasters went too far, attacking the underpinnings of all cloud-based TV services.

2: Apple Demands News Site Pull Copy of iTunes Radio Contract, Claims Copyright Infringement

Next up today, Greg Sandoval at The Verge reports that Apple has ordered Digital Music News, an online news site focused on the music industry, to take down a copy of a contract for iTunes radio, claiming copyright infringement.

The contract, which was between a record label and Apple, dealt with Apple’s new iTunes Radio service and, according to Digital Media News, showed that independent labels were forced to agree to “sub par” terms. Apple, however, claiming to have authored the contract, has ordered its removal on copyright grounds.

Contracts are considered copyrighted works, however, their copyright is rarely enforced (if they aren’t being sold as templates), save in cases such as this one where there is a desire to keep them secret.

3: Netflix Pursues Cable-TV Deals

Finally today, Shalini Ramachandran at the Wall Street Journal reports that video streaming service Netflix is in in negotiations with various U.S. cable providers, including Comcast and Suddenlink, to make its service available their set-top boxes.

If it comes to fruition, it would be the first time Netflix has inked such deals with U.S. providers. However, a potential hangup in the deals is that Netflix is insisting that providers adopt technology to make streaming easier and faster for users, technology that requires Netflix to have direct access to providers’ networks.

Some providers, such as DirecTV and Verizon, have already connect their boxes to the Internet and connect to services such as YouTube, though none have partnered with Netflix yet.


That’s it for the three count today. We will be back tomorrow with three more copyright links. If you have a link that you want to suggest a link for the column or have any proposals to make it better. Feel free to leave a comment or send me an email. I hope to hear from you.

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