FilmOn X Appeals Ninth Circuit Panel Decision to Full Court


Author: John Eggerton
Coverage Type: reporting
Location:
Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, 1010 Fifth Avenue William Nakamura Courthouse, Seattle, WA, 98104, United States

FilmOn X on April 6 sought a full-court re-hearing in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals after a three-judge panel of that court in March reversed a lower court decision that FilmOn X was eligible for the same compulsory license to TV programming as cable operators have. The appeals court panel held that "a service that captures copyrighted works broadcast over the air, and then retransmits them to paying subscribers over the Internet without the consent of the copyright holders, is not a 'cable system' eligible for a compulsory license under the Copyright Act."

Broadcasters led by Fox had challenged the lower court ruling after US District Court judge George Wu sided with FilmOn X. The company argues that the Copyright Office has been inconsistent on the license, granting one to U-verse and FiOS as substantially similar to cable, for example, while denying ones to FilmOn X and others that also use IP technology. It also says Congress meant for the definition of cable to be able to encompass new technologies like FilmOn X.

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