It has become more difficult to regulate cyberspace as the internet advances. Entertainment companies are growing nervous about TV shows being posted online without their permission. As a result, they have pushed for a “ new censorship law to block any site that points people to such video content.” In response, ivi, a Seattle-based company, filed suit to “get a declaratory judgment of non-infringement,” which would allow it to stream TV shows online legally.
According to a recent Memorandum and Order from the court, ivi argued that it does not have to comply with rules of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and needs only to pay $100 a year to the Copyright Registration Office for a Section 111 compulsory license. Public Knowledge. Section 111 “was designed to make it easier for cable stations to rebroadcast network TV.” Techdirt.
On Feb. 22, 2011, federal judge Naomi Buchwald held that ivi’s legal arguments are no-no’s. Ivi is not seeking to take advantage of only one loophole, but two, Buchwald said, noting she does not appreciate ivi’s double-loophole game: ivi declared that it “is a cable system for purposes of the Copyright Act, and thus may take advantage of the compulsory license, but that it is not a cable system for purposes of the Communications Act, and thus it need not comply with the requirements of that Act and the rules of the FCC promulgated thereunder.” Techdirt. The judge concluded that ivi needed to comply with both laws. THR, Esq.
As a result, ivi must shut down its service until it finds a better argument or the FCC and the Copyright Office decide “to update their rules to conform to the realities of new technology and consumer choice” (according to Public Knowledge). THR, Esq.
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