Start up ivi TV, which last week saw a federal court in Seattle reject a request from it for a declaratory ruling that it wasn't infringing on broadcasters' copyrights, said it's looking forward to "moving this process along and distinguishing our legitimate non-infringing service from illegal ones."
The company, which describes itself as an online cable operator, now will face lawsuits filed in New York by broadcasters seeking to stop it from streaming their content online. Todd Weaver, CEO and founder of Seattle-based ivi, said the company believes the move will be a positive one.
"We're happy to have our case decided by Judge Buchwald because, as we have stated in the past publicly, she has shown herself to be knowledgeable in the area when she properly entered a temporary restraining order against FilmOn.com and when she properly dismissed the networks' attempt to connect ivi TV with the FilmOn service," he said. "Unlike FilmOn.com, ivi TV is a cable system that pays the U.S. Copyright Office for the legal right to transmit network programming, just like 16,000 other cable systems currently in operation."
FilmOn.com, meanwhile, said it, too, is in compliance, and took issue with ivi TV's statement.
“FilmOn is in full compliance as a cable system under s111 of the Copyright Act," said Chairman and CEO Alki David. "Our company has been in dialog with the U.S. Copyright Office and made provisions for all payments required since day one of our operations. IVI TV is misleading in its statement regarding our payments and seems to harbor an obsessive insecurity regarding FilmOn.com. The U.S. Copyright Office only requires filing and payment from cable systems on a bi-annual basis. Since we launched our cable system on the 27 September, payment is not required by FilmOn.com until March 27.”
Weaver, meanwhile, said the networks are attempting to distort the copyright law to camouflage what are really just anti-competitive attempts at maintaining archaic and legacy business models that ensure consumers have less choice and control.
"The purpose of copyright law is to strike a balance between protecting copyright holders' rights and fostering innovative methods of disseminating the copyrighted works to the public," he said. "The ivi TV system was specifically designed to conform to the compulsory licensing provisions of the Copyright Act, which ensures that the networks' statutory copyright protections are maintained while simultaneously offering consumers a revolutionary new method to watch television."
Meanwhile, ivi said it would begin streaming stations from Philadelphia, likely by the end of the month. It currently streams broadcast content from New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Seattle, as well as a selection of channels from around the world, for $4.99 a month.
The company also said it plans to have the content streaming in high definition soon.
Ivi has been working to attract content from a variety of cable channels on a subscription basis as well.
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