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Editorial: Laying Down the Law

We have some advice for those who think the recent Supreme Court decision tabbed Aereo as a cable system subject to a copyright license. Think again.

Until the FCC weighs in on the rights and responsibilities of over-thetop providers, or current settled law— which holds that Internet streaming is not subject to that blanket license—is changed, they are in fact not a cable system in over-the-top clothing.

Judge Naomi Buchwald, whose injunction against streaming company ivi TV led to that settled law on Internet streaming by the Second Circuit, put it succinctly last week in a hearing on what FilmOn should and shouldn’t be doing with TV station signals online. The judge said the Supreme Court can’t go “ ‘poof ’” and make someone a cable system—which the court didn’t do anyway, she pointed out.

“Ivi is still the law. And ivi, the Copyright Office understands, is controlling now until there is a change,” Judge Buch wald said, according to a transcript of the hearing.

This may come as news to any companies and individuals that believe it is suddenly open season on TV station signals.