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Web TV streamer Ivi gets hit with a lawsuit

No big surprise there
Wed Sep 29 2010, 11:28

WEB TV STREAMING SERVICE Ivi has been hit with a lawsuit that accuses the firm and its founder of copyright infringement.

Last week The INQUIRER reported that Ivi had come under pressure from what it labeled 'big media' by receiving cease and desist letters. The service, which streams television shows in their entireties to subscribers, soon after filed for a Complaint for Declaratory Judgment of Copyright Noninfringement in US District Court in Seattle, Washington. Such a judgment would in theory allow it to avoid costly legal battles with the entertainment industry cartels.

Now it seems that Fox, NBC and other big media firms were less than a week behind in the race to the courthouse. The media companies have filed a lawsuit in a New York federal court that accuses Ivi and its founder, Todd Weaver of copyright infringement. This follows a statement by the National Association of Broadcasters, a media cartel mouthpiece, accusing Ivi of theft by re-broadcasting signals.

Speaking to The INQUIRER last week, Weaver said that he "firmly believed" that the issue with Fox, NBC and others wasn't with copyright rather a "fear of the future", referring to the streaming of television shows over the Internet. He claimed that Ivi offered broadcasters a way to monetise content and should be seen as a friend, not a foe.

Weaver also said that his firm does "nothing wrong" by re-transmitting shows and is simply replicating what the US cable and satellite networks already do. Now it seems that Weaver will have his day in court to persuade the media companies, as well as a judge and jury, that indeed Ivi is merely another medium for broadcasting television.

Ivi faces an uphill battle against a bunch of well funded lawyers. However Weaver seemed confident enough last week, telling The INQUIRER his firm will "fight for the people". We hope he has some good lawyers. µ


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