Today, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled in favor of broadcasters and content owners against the streaming service ivi, which previously captured and retransmitted broadcast programming over the Internet. The Second Circuit held that ivi is not a cable system and therefore is not entitled to the cable statutory copyright license under Section 111 of the Copyright Act.
Broadcasters initiated the lawsuit alleging that ivi violated the Copyright Act by streaming broadcast programming live over the Internet without consent. ivi argued that it was an online cable operator that pays royalties in exchange for the legal right to retransmit broadcast programming under a statutory copyright license. In its decision released today, the Second Circuit agreed with the Copyright Office’s interpretation that Internet retransmission services such as ivi do not constitute cable systems entitled to the statutory copyright license. This decision affirms the district court’s grant of a preliminary injunction, which shut down ivi’s streaming service last year.