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First off today, Joan Solsman at CNet reports that TV streaming service Aereo has announced that it will “pause” operations after a Supreme Court ruling found that it was infringing the copyrights of broadcasters.
Aereo works by using a series of tiny antennas, one per customer, to capture over-the-air broadcast television and stream it to customers via the Web. The service argued that, since each customer had their own antenna, they were merely private transmissions and legal under the law. Lower courts largely sided with Aereo but a recent Supreme Court ruling overturned their earlier victories.
The ruling sends the case back to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, which is expected to now grant an injunction against Aereo. Ahead of that. Aereo has said that it is pausing its service and putting it on hold while they consult with the courts to find a path to legality.
Next up today, Eriq Garnder at The Hollywood Reproter Esquire reports that, just days after the Supreme Court decision in the Aereo case, parties in related cases are already arguing about what it means.
In the ongoing battle between broadcasters and Dish Network over their Sling DVR with Hopper, which allows users to stream content to other devices via the Web, Fox is arguing that the Supreme Court ruling confirms it is infringing, calling the DVR “virtually identical” to the role Aereo played. Dish, hwoever, counters by saying that the Aereo ruling hinged on Aereo looking like a cable company, which they argue their DVR does not.
Aereo competitor FilmOn has also said the Aereo ruling is a boost for them. Since 2011 they have been applying for a compulsory license to stream broadcaster content but were denied because they didn’t meet the definition of what was a cable company. However, they claim the Supreme Court ruling means they should be eligible for such a license and will be able to stream broadcaster signals after paying a license fee.
Finally today, Ernesto at Torrentfreak writes that Malibu Media, a porographic film company known for filing lawsuits against hundreds of suspected file sharers in hopes of seeking quick settlements, has won the right to look at warnings from the Copyright Alert System sent to one defendant to bolster their case.
The Copyright Alert System (CAS) is a cooperative system between major copyright holders and ISPs to send warning alerts to those suspected of sharing content illegally online. Malibu Media is not part of the system but subpoenaed Comcast to get the CAS records of Kelly Tashiro, who they allege was sharing Malibu Media-owned content without permission.
According to Malibu Media, the alerts could show a pattern of copyright infringement that would be useful to proving their case. The count agreed and has allowed Malibu to gain access to those records, even though the system was designed to protect the identities and privacy of subscribers. Comcast is expected to appeal the decision.
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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