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Time Warner Cable and Viacom Go to Court Over iPad; At Issue: Is the Device a TV?

Apr 8, 2011  •  Post A Comment

In a dispute over whether cable companies can allow their customers to watch cable networks over their iPads, both Time Warner Cable and Viacom filed lawsuits on Thursday, seeking to resolve the question, reports The New York Times’ Media Decoder blog.

Time Warner Cable maintains that its existing contracts with network providers such as Viacom give them the right to allow customers to watch the channels on devices like iPads. But some network owners take issue with that interpretation, and some have been upset with Time Warner Cable since it introduced its iPad app in March, the piece notes.

On Thursday, Time Warner Cable filed a request for a declaratory judgment in favor of the app in Federal District Court for the Southern District of New York. Just a few minutes later, Viacom said it filed its own suit in the same court, alleging breach of contract and copyright violations, the article says.

Viacom asserts that Time Warner’s iPad app, TWCableTV, enables "unlicensed distribution of Viacom’s programming." Time Warner Cable, meanwhile, is seeking court confirmation of its view that the iPad and similar devices serve as TVs and that the company has the right to provide in-home viewing on any screen.

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