Aereo-Like Service Found in Contempt in Legal Battle With Fox and CBS

Jul 25, 2014  •  Post A Comment

A service that is described as similar to Aereo has been found in contempt for continuing to deliver the signals of broadcast network TV stations. B&C reports that New York District Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald issued the ruling against FilmOn in its legal battle with Fox and CBS.

The ruling comes after the Supreme Court found Aereo in violation of copyright.

“Judge Buchwald said that based on the law of the Second Circuit, which has ruled that Internet streaming does not qualify for a compulsory license, ‘FilmOn is not entitled to a license under § 111, and its retransmissions clearly and unambiguously fall under the scope of conduct barred by the Injunction,;”

In her opinion issued today, the judge wrote: “We find FilmOn in civil contempt of court for its violation of the Injunction. FilmOn must pay $10,000 for each of the nine days of its noncompliance. Therefore, we impose a sanction of $90,000. We also reiterate that while it appears that defendant has ceased streaming plaintiffs’ programming, such conduct is covered by the Injunction and future retransmission of plaintiffs’ copyrighted content without a license will subject defendant to  significant penalties per day of noncompliance.”

CBS and Fox had gone to court to request that FilmOn be found in contempt and to seek fees and fines. FilmOn is also now required to pay attorneys’ fees.

In a statement, Fox said: that FilmOn founder Alki David “has proven time and again that he has utter disregard for the decisions of the court. The court has indicated that FilmOn is in contempt and has set monetary sanctions.”

B&C quotes David, who said he will appeal the ruling, saying: “Judge Buchwald is unqualified and wrong.”

B&C notes: “In a hearing Tuesday (July 23) in her court, Judge Buchwald, who has already found FilmOn in contempt once, said she was likely to do so again. Her court had enjoined FilmOn from delivering TV station signals, but after the Second Circuit Court of Appeals (in New York) overturned an injunction against Aereo, FilmOn concluded it, too, could deliver signals with remote antennas in areas under the New York court’s purview.”


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