FilmOn X, the online video site formerly known as Aereokiller, argued its case before a panel of federal appeals court judges in southern California Tuesday.
Broadcasters had sued in a California federal court to block the service, saying it violates copyright law. A judge agreed, and now FilmOn X wants the lower court's order, which bars it from carrying local broadcast TV signals, to be overturned. Beyond deciding FilmOn X's fate, the case has implications for Aereo's legal battles.
A lawyer for FilmOn X argued that the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals should take up the same reasoning the 2nd Circuit adopted when it let Aereo keep operating while a trial over its legality plays out, according to a report in Variety.
Like Aereo, FilmOn X's subscribers are assigned unique antennas that make private transmissions of the signals, thereby getting around copyright concerns, attorney Ryan Baker argued, according to Variety.
If the 9th Circuit upholds the lower court's ruling, it could create a split among the appeals circuit in the way certain elements of copyright law are interpreted. Such splits typically increase the likelihood that the Supreme Court will agree to hear an appeal, should one reach it.
A victory for the broadcasters in the 9th Circuit could also slow Aereo's expansion in that territory, which includes California and some other western states.
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