Video services

Ivi Taunts TV's Lawyers

7:00 PM -- I think most people's reaction upon hearing about ivi Inc. on Monday was the same as mine.

Even if the startup's way of replacing your TV service -- by rebroadcasting the networks online, without overt permission -- is legal, the company clearly figures it's likely to hear from some high-paid lawyers sometime soon.

You can read ivi state its case on GigaOm and in a Hollywood trade called TheWrap. The key is that the company considers itself a cable service without the cable. Like a cable operator, it's going to pay fees to the US Copyright Office, which is how the rights owners will get their due.

Lawyers have had more than a year to become aware of ivi's existence, so maybe the startup's case isn't so shaky. It's hard to see this standing unchallenged, though.

You can see ivi's feature list in the press release. The service is $5 per month, plus at least $1 more if you want DVR capabilities.

— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading

Adi Kishore 12/5/2012 | 4:23:42 PM
re: Ivi Taunts TV's Lawyers

I can't claim any legal expertise, but it's hard to believe no one else has been able to spot this legal loophole in the last 6-8 years, despite scores of companies trying to distribute video online.

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