Yesterday, Public Knowledge and the Electronic Frontier Foundation filed an amicus brief in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals arguing that online cable services like FilmOn qualify for the same statutory copyright licenses as traditional cable systems. This license allows qualifying services to carry broadcast programming, provided they are otherwise complying with Federal Communications Commission rules. Public Knowledge rejects the idea that traditional pay-TV should receive special treatment denied to online video services.
Today, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that copyright holders must consider fair use before sending Digital Millennium Copyright Act takedown notices in Lenz v. Universal. In a suit often called “the dancing baby case,” Universal Music sent a takedown notice to YouTube claiming that Stephanie Lenz’s home video featuring her toddler dancing to a Prince song violated copyright.
Today, District Court Judge George Wu issued a preliminary decision finding that FilmOn, an online video service, is entitled to a compulsory copyright license. Public Knowledge has long advocated for regulatory parity for online video services, and applauds this decision.
For many Americans, live sports are the last piece of television content that is appointment viewing. And for many Americans, the only thing of value on television is the NFL. The fact that fans want to watch sports live, along with the sheer number of viewers of NFL games, makes live streaming of sports content vital to the future of online video.