Well this ought to be interesting.
If you have an iPad or an iPhone, head over to FilmOn.com in the web browser. What you’re looking at are all the broadcast TV stations in the LA area, plus a couple at the bottom of the list that definitely aren’t safe for work.
Tap any of the network stations and—voila—there’s some live TV for you. Nice, huh? It’s fast, too, and the picture’s not half bad.
So how long can this underground, fly-by-night pirate site go before it’s taken offline? If the company’s founder, billionaire Alki David, has his way: never. He’d probably take issue with the thought of it being a fly-by-night operating since FilmOn has been around in Europe for a few years and “is listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange with a market cap of $567 million,” according to Reuters.
David has apparently discovered a loophole in the legal system that allows for the retransmission of over-the-air broadcasts.
He told Reuters:
“Without a doubt, the Copyright Act upholds what we are doing. There is no difference between the Internet and satellite. There’s little difference between having a digital television box (and having television delivered through a computer). It’s all just semantics. People need to stop being afraid of opening up doors to digital technology.”
The major networks are suing both FilmOn and Seattle-based Ivi TV, which provides a very similar service.
Ivi CEO Todd Weaver recently said, “This is not about copyright or technology, it is about competition. We intend to increase viewer numbers and welcome opportunities to work with the broadcasters.” Cofounder Hal Bringman added, “We are paying broadcasters, operating in good faith. We just happen to be pushing others to innovate faster than they planned on.”
[via All Things Digital]
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