Broadcasters Sue AereoKiller In DC

Gavel1Confirming their efforts to follow over-the-top TV services with legal filings in any market where they start up business, a number of TV broadcasting companies filed suit against AereoKiller in Washington D.C.

Fox, NBCUniversal, Disney/ABC Television, Allbritton Communications and Telemundo -- all own TV outlets in Washington, D.C. --  filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against the TV digital services from billionaire entrepreneur Alki David, who also operates another Internet TV-video service FilmOn.TV.

AereoKiller's name is a controversial take on another over-the-top TV service, Aereo -- funded in large part by Barry Diller, and which currently operates in the New York area.

Earlier this year, broadcasters obtained a cable injunction against Aereokiller in many Western U.S. markets and California, where a federal judge agreed the service infringes on broadcasters' copyrights.

But in April, things didn't go well for TV broadcasters in appellate court against Aereo, which covers New York, Connecticut and Vermont. That court didn't allow an injunction, although both claim similar technology -- that of providing individual "digital antennas" to its customers.

Broadcasters have vowed to start up legal filings against any OTT service that offers free broadcast signals -- where those services would not pay TV broadcasters, as well as cable, satellite and telco companies. Already up and running in the New York area, Aereo has announced it would also launch its service in Boston and other markets.

The OTT services' argument is that customers are allowed to buy "antennas" to get free over-the-air broadcast signals. Aereo and AereoKiller say they provide customers "antennas" for a fee.

More recently, David made a settlement deal with Aereo over trademark claims about the name of his service, AereoKiller.



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