By , September 06, 2013.

FilmOn X, which is a commercial service retransmitting Plaintiffs’ television performances, is in no meaningful way different from cable television companies, whose relationship with broadcasters such as Plaintiffs was the primary motivation for the 1976 Act’s enactment.

Fox Television Stations v. FilmOn X, Opinion, No. 13-758 (RMC) at 27 (D. DC Sept. 5, 2013).

TV Broadcasters Granted Injunction Against Alki David’s TV Streaming Service — The District Court of D.C. yesterday became the second court outside the Second Circuit to consider an Aereo-styled Internet retransmission service and the second court to reject the Second Circuit’s erroneous interpretation of the Copyright Act’s public performance provisions. Judge Collyer saw through FilmOn X’s overly clever arguments, saying that the system was “hardly akin to an individual user stringing up a television antenna on the roof.”

The sharps and flats of the music business — Indie musician Zoë Keating speaks candidly about the challenges and opportunities that face musicians looking to earn a living from their craft today. “It sounds pathetic, but knowing that 60,000 people liked my albums enough to buy them gave me confidence I’d lacked and encouraged me to take my art seriously and make more of it… Now subscription streaming and YouTube are finishing what Napster began, and the revolution is fully corporatized. With music services spending millions of dollars to promote tag lines like ‘Never pay for music again,’ the story is no longer about a collective Robin Hood taking down a resented industry. Now it’s about plain old personal economics. Only a fool or a true fan would pay to own music that is available for free listening at any time on a subscription music service.”

U.S. Copyright Office Announces Ringer Fellowships and Kaminstein Scholars, Names Brauneis of The George Washington University — Congrats to Robert Brauneis for being named the first Kaminstein Scholar by the U.S. Copyright Office. And recent law school grads and recently minted attorneys interested in copyright law and policy should certainly check out the Office’s new Ringer Fellowship.

New (old) study on Megaupload’s demise features fuzzy methods and major omissions — Vox Indie’s Ellen Seidler takes a closer look at a study that purports to show that theatrical revenues from some films actually decreased after Megaupload was shut down following its indictment for criminal copyright infringement. Many smaller and independent films don’t rely so much, if at all, on revenues from theaters.

Thom Yorke, Trent Reznor and a Chorus of Artists Speak Out For An Ethical and Sustainable Internet — The Trichordist collects a series of quotes from artists and musicians. “Perhaps 2013 will be the year that we see as the tipping point in artists rights advocacy for an ethical and sustainable internet. There have been more artists speaking up vocally this year than in we can remember over the last decade.The hangover from an excess of hope that the internet would empower musicians has begun to set in as the evidence of more, and worse exploitation becomes increasingly obvious every day.”


  1. Love the FilmOn X opinion. Footnote 12 says it all: “The Court . . . agrees that Cablevision and Aereo mistakenly substituted ‘transmission’ for ‘performance’ in its analysis.” That’s the problem with Cablevision and its ilk in a nutshell. It’s too bad Judge Chin couldn’t get the en banc Second Circuit to recognize that mistake as well. It will be very interesting to see if the Ninth Circuit panel agrees in the Aereo appeal currently before it.

  2. “Only a fool or a true fan would pay to own music that is available for free listening at any time on a subscription music service.”

    And when people say “you have to build yourself as a brand”, what they mean is that you need to turn casual listeners into true fans.

    • I think the problem here is everyone forgetting what the copyright laws are, and demarcate. Copyright laws are still for physical objects that are fixed, not a copy of a file that is one non-inventoried file that becomes copied when someone wants a copy if it. It’s button pushing businesses where their product is a non-tangible, non-inventoried items vs. physical objects that are fixed and inventoried that are to be sold and resold. That one file can also be copied from one of the inventoried physical objects to destroy all of thise physical objects instantaneously. But see Capitol Records, LLC v. ReDigi, Inc., No. 12 CIV. 95 RJS, 2013 WL 1286134 at 5. (S.D.N.Y. Mar. 30, 2013) ([c]ourts have not previously addressed whether the unauthorized transfer of a digital […] file over the Internet – where only one file exists before and after the transfer – constitutes reproduction within the meaning of the Copyright Act. Th[is] Court holds that it does.”)

      In that case, the secondary market (i.e.: reselling a physical object inside a collectible demand) is deleted. And that cannot happen. It is anti-competitive.


      • Except that, it NEVER was physical.
        You’re not paying for the CD, 8-track, record, mp3 or whatever. You’re paying for the contents therein. Nobody paid $14 for a blank CD, they paid for the contents on that CD. Same with ANY other delivery method.

        You’re confusing the contents with the container.


    In that case, the secondary market (i.e.: reselling a physical object inside a collectible demand) is deleted ***IF*** a theft company like ReDigi (funded by investors that know they are breaking laws) is allowed to go forward. And that cannot happen. It is anti-competitive.

    p.s.: my typos I can’t fix. lol