A district court judge in Seattle has refused to grant a declaratory ruling that ivi TV’s service does not violate broadcast copyright protection, Broadcasting & Cable is reporting. The suit, filed in September, was a “a preemptive move to discourage needless litigation from big media,” according to ivi founder and c.e.o. Todd Weaver (Current, Oct. 4, 2010). Soon after that suit was filed, PBS, WNET.org, WGBH and 22 other plaintiffs asked the U.S. District Court in New York to keep ivi from selling their TV signals online. That action is still pending.
The Seattle-based ivi captures and encrypts TV stations’ signals and distributes them through a web app to subscribers who pay it $4.99 a month. The company says it’s following the same law that allows cable systems to retransmit broadcast signals and pay a negotiated rights fee. Rights owners will be compensated via the Licensing Division of the U.S. Copyright Office after they file a payment request, ivi maintains.