New York –
, a website offering cable-like streaming
TV programming at affordable monthly rates, was ordered by a federal judge
Tuesday to stop redistributing over-the-air TV broadcasts without permission
while the courts determine the service providers’ claimed right to do so.
Internet video distributor has aggressively fought broadcasters’ attempts to
shut it down, claiming the right to do so as an online cable provider under
collective copyright law.
The lawsuit to
stop Ivi.tv was originally filed by NBC, ABC, CBS, Major League Baseball and
several other TV groups.
Judge Naomi Reice
Buchwald of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York ruled
in favor of the networks, writing that the broadcasters had demonstrated
irreparable harm and that the public would not be disserved by an injunction.
She also said it was “extraordinarily unlikely” that Ivi would ultimately be
deemed a cable system.
Service from Ivi.tv
was launched in Seattle, New York and Los Angeles, and is planned to soon
expand into Philadelphia and Chicago.
The service was
redistributing signals from ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, CW and PBS affiliates as part
of its package. Subscribers are charged $5 a month, and smartphone apps are
available to stream the content to compatible mobile devices.
Commenting on the
ruling, Todd Weaver, Ivi.tv CEO, said: “This fight is for the people and their
right to choice and control over their own entertainment — and it will
continue. The oppressive big media networks must open their doors to innovators
or they will inevitably fall. People want responsible choice, not the
one-size-fits-all television offerings imposed by powerful media interests.”
He continued: “Ivi
will appeal to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, will explore congressional
and administrative solutions, and will continue to advance the public’s
interest in a balanced reading of the copyright law.”