The streaming service isn’t entitled to a compulsory license to stream broadcast content, a District Court judge says.FilmOn isn’t entitled to a compulsory license to stream broadcast content, one court has ruled.
Last month, a U.S. District Court judge ruled against FilmOn’s claim to a compulsory license. Last week, the judge’s decision was unsealed, showing her reasoning. Judge Rosemary Collyer wrote that while the Supreme Court noted an “overwhelming likeness” between cable operators and online streamer Aereo, that doesn’t mean that an online system that offers copyrighted material like a cable system does must automatically be seen as a cable system. Eric Gardner, of The Hollywood Reporter, pointed out that Collyer’s proximity to the D.C. establishment constituted evidence of bias.
FilmOn still has reason to believe it will prevail, thanks to a July decision from a Los Angeles District Court judge which suggested that major broadcast networks might be required to license their content to the service. Viewers, it should be noted, don’t see a distinction between cable-, satellite, or IP-based premium video services.
FilmOn released a statement which read in part, “FilmOn.TV is disappointed with the D.C. court’s ruling finding its partner FilmOn X is not entitled to a compulsory copyright license. The real losers are the citizens, for whom free access to the airways that belong to them is once again restrained by a judge’s incorrect statutory interpretation favoring big business over technological advancement.” The company believes this case should go to the Supreme Court.
Collyer’s ruling is clear to state that FilmOn and its owners are not found to have engaged in any wrong doing, and are not liable for any copyright violations.