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Ivi hit with lawsuit over unauthorized use of TV shows

updated 07:05 pm EDT, Tue September 28, 2010

Broadcasters claim copyright infringement

Several broadcasters have filed a lawsuit against Ivi TV after the startup defied cease-and-desist demands to stop retransmitting broadcast TV signals via the Internet without permission. Fox, ABC, CBS, NBC and PBS have accused the small company of copyright infringement for its web-based streaming service, which provides access to over 20 channels for $5/month.

After receiving the cease-and-desist letters, Ivi last week filed a preemptive lawsuit for declaratory judgement of copyright noninfringement. The move represented an attempt to secure a preliminary judgement to protect against the inevitable copyright suit filed by the broadcasters.

"The Copyright Act expressly authorizes secondary transmissions of copyrighted works embodied in primary transmissions," Ivi's complaint reads. "For example, the Copyright Act expressly approves of the secondary transmission of an original television broadcast where the secondary transmission is subject to a statutory license."

Ivi argues that it is "not another Pirate Bay or Napster trying to gain from others' works," as the company "wishes to work with content owners" to expand business models. Many of the broadcasters have already engaged streaming content, however, with their own services such as Hulu.

The startup is still offering streaming content, which is can be viewed using software for Mac, Linux and Windows machines. [via Reuters]

by MacNN Staff





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