Zattoo you: trades report brewing rights rumble

Zattoo, a peer-to-peer television concern started by a team of researchers at the University of Michigan, has stirred the ire of Spanish broadcasters, according to a report in Telecom Paper. The subscription-only news service said five Spanish television networks were considering suing the fledging IP video startup, but no further reports have emerged.

Steve O'Hear at last100.com reports that Zattoo told him it was indeed in compliance with Spanish regulations and that it had obtained a license from the government there authorizing the service. "So far no legal action has been taken against Zattoo in Spain or anywhere else," Zattoo reportedly said in an email to O'Hear. "If there is a problem we discuss and resolve it directly with the broadcaster in question."

Zattoo, based in Ann Arbor, Mich., and Zurich, launched in Spain with 67 channels earlier this summer, and is expanding into other European markets. The ad-supported Zattoo player streams live TV channels via P2P packet sharing over the Internet, much like the old Viidoo and the intent of the Microsoft-supported LiveStation player in development by Skinkers. The issue that most of these players run into is content rights, which are generally expensive and tightly controlled by distributors who fear market dilution and piracy. Streaming portals like Zattoo are certainly the wave of the near future, and cannot be stopped, so it's best for all parties involved to work out an agreement. Adequate audience metrics for these things would make everyone happy.

For more:
- O'Hear's report is here

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