FilmOn founder Alki David. (credit: FilmOn)
Long after the demise of Aereo, FilmOn is still fighting to broadcast local TV channels over the Internet—despite repeated court losses.
With FilmOn’s latest defeat, US District Judge Rosemary Collyer found that the company is not a cable system and can’t get the same statutory license cable companies are entitled to. Collyer’s ruling goes against a July opinion from a Los Angeles federal judge that resulted in a surprise win for FilmOn, and this recent decision sets up a potential circuit split down the road. That means the questions behind Aereo—can TV be re-broadcast over the Internet, and how much should that cost—may end up back at the Supreme Court.
That’s not happening anytime soon, however, since the Los Angeles ruling in favor of FilmOn is now on appeal to the 9th Circuit. Collyer’s ruling from yesterday will likely be appealed as well. Collyer’s full opinion is still under seal, presumably because it contains confidential business information, but a two-page order (PDF) published yesterday makes clear that FilmOn’s position has been rejected. A public version of the opinion won’t be available until December.
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