In what seems to be some pretty blatant forum shopping, FOX and other major broadcasters have secured an injunction against FilmOn in Washington, D.C.
Recall how last April FOX lost its Second Circuit appeal against Aereo, a TV streaming service that assigned separate antennae to every streaming user in order to avoiding violating the broadcast companies’ public performance rights in the copyrighted material (Steven Buchwald wrote an excellent article analyzing how Aereo designed its technology around the landmark Cablevision holding to avoid infringement).
It looks like FOX and friends are following through with their threat to circumvent the Second Circuit by securing decisions against TV streaming services around the country. FilmOn seems to be the first Aereo-like company to feel the threat realized.
Of course the Washington injunction was made by a lower federal court and does not extend through the borders of the Second Circuit (New York, Connecticut, and Vermont). Nor do I expect that the injunction will survive appeal to the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals.
As Steven’s analysis points out, the Aereo streaming model falls squarely within the facts of Cablevision, and while that Second Circuit decision is not binding on the other Circuits, it is nevertheless a highly respected copyright decision made by a Circuit that is equally respected for its intellectual property jurisprudence.
Enter your email to get started.