updated 11:24 am EDT, Fri September 6, 2013
Case viewed as important in Aereo battle
Television broadcasters have won a legal battle against FilmOn X, a company that provides online streams of broadcast TV content. Judge Rosemary Collyer of the US District Court for DC has ordered the company to shutter its services, noting that broadcasters will likely prevail in arguing that the service violates copyright laws.
The case is viewed as potentially significant for Aereo, a similar company that is involved with separate lawsuits filed by broadcasters. Both Aereo and FilmOn X use a multitude of individual antennas connected to servers, pairing each streaming viewer to their own antenna in an attempt to work around copyright laws.
Judge Collyer said the court "carefully considered" a regional shutdown order against FilmOn X in a California court, along with a separate ruling in an Aereo case that had allowed the company to continue its streaming service, according to a Wall Street Journal report (sub. required). The DC judgement against FilmOn X applies to the entire country, save for Northeast states in the Second Circuit.
"FilmOn X will obviously appeal this ruling and completely disagrees with the court's basis," said FilmOn X attorney Ryan Baker.
The various lawsuits against FilmOn X and Aereo have yet to reach final rulings.