In a victory for broadcasters, a D.C. District Court Thursday granted a preliminary injunction against FilmOn. The injunction does not apply to states in the Second Circuit, which declined to enjoin a similar service, Aereo.
"This Court concludes that the Copyright Act forbids FilmOn X from retransmitting Plaintiffs' copyrighted programs over the Internet," Judge Rosemary Collyer wrote for the court. "Plaintiffs are thus likely to succeed on their claim that FilmOn X violates Plaintiffs' exclusive public performance rights in their copyrighted works."
The injunction was sought by the Big Four broadcast networks, Gannett and Allbritton, who sued FilmOn for copyright infringement.
FilmOn is enjoined from "streaming, transmitting, retransmitting, or otherwise publicly performing, displaying, or distributing any Copyrighted Programming over the Internet."
Like Aereo, FilmOn argues that it is simply providing its online subscribers remote access to TV antennas supplying free TV. But broadcasters disagree and asked the court to block the service.
In a filing with the court last week, Fox Television Stations continued to press its case for the injunction against FilmOnX (formerly Aereokill and available at FilmOn.TV), an Aereo-like over-the-top provider of TV station signals and other content.
Fox told the court that it was "incontrovertable" that FilmOnX, from FilmOn founder Alki David, is providing a public performance that infringes its, and other programmers', copyrights. The judge appears to agree.