Seattle – Ivi, a start-up online TV streaming service that
has received more than 10 cease-and-desist letters from major TV networks and
sports leagues, has filed pre-emptive lawsuits against these firms seeking a
declaratory judgment that its service is legal, TechFlash reported.
Ivi had received legal notices from NBC, CBS, Fox, Disney, Major League
Baseball and others, who state the company had not acquired the requisite
retransmission rights to stream their signals online.
For its part, Ivi argues
in its lawsuit that the Copyright Act allows for its particular business model.
"The Copyright Act expressly authorizes secondary transmission of
copyrighted works embodied in primary transmissions," the suit says.
"For example, the Copyright Act expressly approves of the secondary
transmission of an original television broadcast where the secondary
transmission is subject to a statutory license."
"As you are surely
aware, prior Internet-based television services making similar claims have been
enjoined, or have discontinued their unauthorized illegal offerings, following
legal challenge," NBC Universal attorney Daniel Kummer wrote in the
company’s cease-and-desist letter to Ivi, according to TechFlash.
(DMW previous coverage)