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Editorial: Laying Down the Law - Broadcasting & Cable

Editorial: Laying Down the Law

Aereo is not a cable system subject to a copyright license
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We have some advice for those who think the recent Supreme Court decision tabbed Aereo as a cable system subject to a copyright license. Think again.

Until the FCC weighs in on the rights and responsibilities of over-thetop providers, or current settled law— which holds that Internet streaming is not subject to that blanket license—is changed, they are in fact not a cable system in over-the-top clothing.

Judge Naomi Buchwald, whose injunction against streaming company ivi TV led to that settled law on Internet streaming by the Second Circuit, put it succinctly last week in a hearing on what FilmOn should and shouldn’t be doing with TV station signals online. The judge said the Supreme Court can’t go “ ‘poof ’” and make someone a cable system—which the court didn’t do anyway, she pointed out.

“Ivi is still the law. And ivi, the Copyright Office understands, is controlling now until there is a change,” Judge Buch wald said, according to a transcript of the hearing.

This may come as news to any companies and individuals that believe it is suddenly open season on TV station signals.

We have some advice for those who think the recent Supreme Court decision tabbed Aereo as a cable system subject to a copyright license. Think again.

Until the FCC weighs in on the rights and responsibilities of over-thetop providers, or current settled law— which holds that Internet streaming is not subject to that blanket license—is changed, they are in fact not a cable system in over-the-top clothing.

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