FilmOn X Takes Latest Show

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Video streamerFilmOn X continues to try to get access to broadcast TV content. FilmOn X (formerly Aereokiller) last week filed the opening brief in its challenge to a Nov. 12 D.C. U.S. District Court decision not to rule its online TV station streaming service is entitled to a compulsory license.

The court ruled that FilmOn X, which streamed on-demand and day-and-date video online, was liable for infringing Fox and other broadcast nets’ performance rights under the Copyright Act and was not eligible for the compulsory license.

The issue is whether online video distributors are effectively multichannel video programming distributors (MVPDs), eligible for the statutory license that allows them to avoid negotiating for individual broadcast network content. That issue is unsettled, with the Copyright Office saying they aren’t eligible.

And there remains a difference of legal opinion. A California district judge ruled last year that FilmOn X was entitled to the compulsory license. Fox challenged that ruling in an appeals court. Fox’s filing is due Aug. 17.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.