Online TV Streams and Screams

By Cindy Waxer November 23, 2010

What TV programs can and cannot be aired over the Internet is a hot-button issue these days as age-old copyright laws and traditional television programming principles try desperately to catch up with modern-day technology. Eager to stake its territory, owners of the major U.S. broadcast television networks are filing suit in federal court against two start-up companies that stream broadcast TV stations without their consent, according to an article in today's Wall Street Journal.

The report reveals that the networks are arguing that the start-ups are infringing on their copyrights. A judge in New York is scheduled to rule this week on the networks' request for a temporary restraining order against Inc. A second, similar case against Ivi, Inc., will probably be heard in coming weeks.

Both Ivi and FilmOn borrow free over-the-air broadcast signals and convert them to online streams. Their defense: it's their right to distribute the network material under a provision in the U.S. Copyright Act. The Journal reports that “Seattle-based Ivi is also arguing that Ivi isn't governed by a separate communications statute that requires cable and satellite companies to negotiate licenses with content owners before transmitting their networks.”

Not so, say networks including NBC Universal, Walt Disney’s ABC, CBS Corp., News Corp.’s Fox and others major networks.

In the meantime, Viacom has put the kybosh on full-length episodes of shows it runs on the Internet to users of Google TV, joining a growing number of television programmers refusing to provide content on the search giant’s new Internet television platform.

In early November, reported that News Corp., the folks who bring you Fox, also opted to block Google TV devices from accessing full-length episodes of its TV shows when searched from Google TV’s Web browser. The Sony television that comes with Google TV software can still access networks like any regular TV, just not their online counterparts. The Logitech set-top box that comes with Google TV also does not interfere with regular TV signals.

TechZone360 Contributing Editor

Related Articles

The World is His Oyster: Connected Solutions Enable Daniel Ward to See Food

By: Paula Bernier    3/16/2018

Fresh seafood can taste great, but if it is not handled properly, people can get sick, and that can lead to business closures and lost revenues. That'…

Read More

How to Get Ready for GDPR if You've Waited Until the Last Minute

By: Special Guest    3/14/2018

With less than two months until the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) deadline, many companies have already started making sure that their bu…

Read More

How Fintech is Helping Create Global Businesses

By: Special Guest    3/14/2018

The growth of Fintech probably has not escaped your attention. Whether you're a customer making contactless payments or an investor weighing up CFD tr…

Read More

Are We Prepared for Automation?

By: Special Guest    3/13/2018

We are barreling toward a future of automation. A great proportion of the six million US manufacturing jobs that have disappeared over the last few de…

Read More

The Dark Web - A Hot Bed for Cybercrime

By: Special Guest    3/12/2018

There is a corner of the internet that is cloaked from every day users. Beneath the typical search engines and web browsers, an illegal marketplace is…

Read More