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Broadcasters take their case against Aereo to the Supreme Court & Win


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#176 OFFLINE   Stewart Vernon

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Posted 30 June 2014 - 06:25 PM

How do they determine that a customer is being charged for it?  If they were to line item it on the bill and put a $0.00 beside it, are they still charging for it?  If they were to open up their system to let everyone with an old box have free access to the locals via satellite would this pass the non-charging test? 

 

Think about it.  DirecTV and DISH could sell old boxes that they have no use for as locals only boxes that receive locals and not charge anyone for them.  I doubt they would lose enough customers that it would matter and they would not have to pay the local stations.  Win-win.

 

There is merit in your idea... I don't know if there is too much bad blood by now between the carries and the broadcasters to allow such a thing, though.  But it would be a good compromise.  Those old boxes if they were rigged as LiL-only boxes would become essentially no different than the digital converter boxes that many people have to use for their older TVs now anyway.

 

As for the cost...  it has become murky.  In the early days they did have (at least Dish did) a $5 line-item on their bills for locals... so it was easy to see you were being charged $5 for locals.  Then, at some point, they decided to essentially make everyone take locals so they started saying "locals included" and rolled that $5 into the base package price... so while there is no doubt we are being charged for the locals, there is no longer a clear line item that indicates it.

 

The "irony" is that the broadcasters are also profiting from "people stealing and profiting from their signals" by increasing the number of viewers which increases the value of the broadcasters' product.

 

Yeah... but if I steal cars from the local dealer and sell them to people who like them and it gives those cars and that dealer good word-of-mouth reputation... it doesn't negate that I made money on selling something that was not mine legally to sell in the first place.

 

Having any accidental positive benefit to the injured party doesn't negate the original theft.  I rob your house, your neighbors have sympathy and give you money to help you replace things... I still get arrested for theft even if you come out ahead after the donations.

 

I wonder how long it will be before content creators go after public libraries.  If a library buys a DVD and a thousand people view it, that surely reduces the sale of that DVD.

 

I don't know how this is handled... but it is already handled.  Libraries do the same thing with books... you could argue that libraries eat into book sales too... but libraries operate in a specific way, and they are specifically permitted to loan out the DVDs and books and whatnot that they purchase.  It probably also helps that libraries do not charge you to check out a book or DVD unless it is in the form of a late-return or no-return fine.


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#177 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 30 June 2014 - 08:34 PM

It probably also helps that libraries do not charge you to check out a book or DVD unless it is in the form of a late-return or no-return fine.


I believe all my local libraries have gone "free", but I seem to recall there being a fee for borrowing media.

"[T]he law also includes exceptions and limitations to the exclusive rights of the rights holder that allow libraries to lend, preserve and replace videos and allow non-profit educational institutions the right to publicly perform videos in the face-to-face classroom, and under certain conditions, in the distance educational classroom via digital networks. When libraries want to use a videotape/DVD/video file in such a way that would infringe upon the copyright, permission must be sought from rights holder in the form of a license agreement."
More information: American Library Association

Libraries are allowed to charge for borrowing but the borrowing must be for permitted uses ... primarily private in home viewing.
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#178 OFFLINE   bflora

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Posted 01 July 2014 - 05:22 AM


 

 

"Yeah... but if I steal cars from the local dealer and sell them to people who like them and it gives those cars and that dealer good word-of-mouth reputation... it doesn't negate that I made money on selling something that was not mine legally to sell in the first place.

 

Having any accidental positive benefit to the injured party doesn't negate the original theft.  I rob your house, your neighbors have sympathy and give you money to help you replace things... I still get arrested for theft even if you come out ahead after the donations."

 

 

I am not arguing the legality of the issue.  That has been established by the courts.  The illegality does not negate the "irony" of the situation. 


Edited by bflora, 01 July 2014 - 05:26 AM.


#179 OFFLINE   Stewart Vernon

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Posted 01 July 2014 - 11:59 AM

It's not really irony though.  It's only your opinion that they are protesting benefits from the situation.  In their opinion they are not protesting the side-benefit.  They are protesting the theft and illegal profiting...  IF they get any side-promotional benefit, that's irrelevant to the complaint.

 

There are lots of real-world situations where a bad thing results in some good coming to the person/company who was wronged...  but we typically don't say it is ironic for them to still complain about the wrong thing just because it may have inadvertently benefited them in some way.


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#180 OFFLINE   tonyd79

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Posted 01 July 2014 - 02:08 PM

First, there would be no more agreements.  DirecTV and DISH would simply be retransmitting the signal for free.  Read Stewart's post.  So the local affiliates are out of the deal.

 

Second, yes there would be minimal money in selling off old boxes, but since they would be transmitting the signal for free, they no longer are paying the local affiliates and their ever rising demands. 

 

Keep in mind, they do not need to do this in every market.  Just pick one where there is a contentious renegotiation or fleecing and do it there.  Word will spread.

 

Win-win for the satcos and the consumers.  Technically a lose for the affiliates, but who really cares but them.

 

 

How do they do this at all? They cannot retransmit the signal even if they don't get paid. They need the rights to do so and they won't get them without money. That is why it won't work. I think you missed the basis of the Aereo case. They were claiming they were renting antennae and they still did not get away with it.

 

And good luck with the PAYING customers getting the locals since the locals would deny service to the satellite companies for them.


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#181 OFFLINE   tonyd79

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Posted 01 July 2014 - 02:10 PM

There is merit in your idea... I don't know if there is too much bad blood by now between the carries and the broadcasters to allow such a thing, though.  But it would be a good compromise.  Those old boxes if they were rigged as LiL-only boxes would become essentially no different than the digital converter boxes that many people have to use for their older TVs now anyway.

 

No, no. no. They are nothing like the digital converter boxes that just tuned to FREE OTA broadcasts. You talking about re-transmission from satellite, not an OTA tuner box.


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#182 OFFLINE   bflora

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Posted 01 July 2014 - 04:09 PM

It's not really irony though.  It's only your opinion that they are protesting benefits from the situation.  In their opinion they are not protesting the side-benefit.  They are protesting the theft and illegal profiting...  IF they get any side-promotional benefit, that's irrelevant to the complaint.

 

There are lots of real-world situations where a bad thing results in some good coming to the person/company who was wronged...  but we typically don't say it is ironic for them to still complain about the wrong thing just because it may have inadvertently benefited them in some way.

The irony is that they pay big bucks to expand their coverage area with taller more powerful transmitters and sue a company that does it for them for free.  I am not commenting on the legal or moral aspects of it.  Just the IRONY of it.



#183 OFFLINE   KyL416

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Posted 01 July 2014 - 04:39 PM

Aereo had no relationship with the stations and they never released hard subscriber data, any extended coverage area gained by Aereo was useless as they can't use that data for ratings which is used to set advertising rates. With the way Nielsen does their math, the entire DMA is already part of your coverage area, even if the only way to get the OTA signal is a deep fringe directional antenna on a mast to overcome an obstruction.

Oddly enough if an Aereo user was in the Nielsen survey it could have hurt the station ratings wise if they were watching a program via Aereo instead of something that could be used by the Nielsen box or if in the process of transcoding the OTA signal the embedded signal used by the Nielsen box was lost.

#184 OFFLINE   Stewart Vernon

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Posted 01 July 2014 - 08:00 PM

No, no. no. They are nothing like the digital converter boxes that just tuned to FREE OTA broadcasts. You talking about re-transmission from satellite, not an OTA tuner box.

 

If I was reading Herdfan correctly, though, he was talking about a special scenario... wherein Dish (for example) would repurpose old receivers as usable only for the LiLs... and would allow users of those receivers access to the LiLs completely for free (outside of the cost of purchasing the receiver of course)... which in that scenario would be the same as if a customer bought a digital converter box and had no further costs.  As long as Dish gave access to those retransmissions for free, then I could see the broadcasters allowing them to retransmit their signal.  Dish would still need to get permission, but as long as Dish had no hidden charges, broadcasters would be foolish not to agree in Herdfan's proposed scenario.  He can correct me if I misread his post.

 

The irony is that they pay big bucks to expand their coverage area with taller more powerful transmitters and sue a company that does it for them for free.  I am not commenting on the legal or moral aspects of it.  Just the IRONY of it.

 

But they wouldn't be suing them for "doing it for free"...  IF the cable/satellite companies actually did it for free and didn't charge their customers and profit from it... then the broadcasters likely would not sue them for it.  That's why it is a disingenuous example.  saying "they are suing them for helping them" is obscuring the truth of the situation.  That would be like if someone robs me, neighbors donate money to help me in excess of what I lost from the robbery, but I press charges against the thief when he is caught and someone accuses me of pressing charges against a person who helped me make money and said it was "ironic"... when it isn't.


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#185 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 02 July 2014 - 05:52 AM

IF the cable/satellite companies actually did it for free and didn't charge their customers and profit from it... then the broadcasters likely would not sue them for it.


Wouldn't that be nice? I disagree with your opinion. While there would be stations that are happy to get their content distributed (they elect Must Carry and do not charge satellite or cable for carriage) the bigger stations, read: any station with network programming, will want payment even if retransmitted for free.

It doesn't matter how much or how little the rebroadcaster is making or even if they are losing money ... the broadcasters want control of their signal and the big broadcasters want payment for retransmission.

I'd love to see a rebroadcaster call the bluff of your local stations - because that is exactly what their offer was, a bluff. I have no expectation that any station who can charge under the current scheme would cease charging just because a rebroadcaster ceased charging.
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#186 OFFLINE   bflora

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Posted 02 July 2014 - 07:22 AM

If I was reading Herdfan correctly, though, he was talking about a special scenario... wherein Dish (for example) would repurpose old receivers as usable only for the LiLs... and would allow users of those receivers access to the LiLs completely for free (outside of the cost of purchasing the receiver of course)... which in that scenario would be the same as if a customer bought a digital converter box and had no further costs.  As long as Dish gave access to those retransmissions for free, then I could see the broadcasters allowing them to retransmit their signal.  Dish would still need to get permission, but as long as Dish had no hidden charges, broadcasters would be foolish not to agree in Herdfan's proposed scenario.  He can correct me if I misread his post.

 

 

But they wouldn't be suing them for "doing it for free"...  IF the cable/satellite companies actually did it for free and didn't charge their customers and profit from it... then the broadcasters likely would not sue them for it.  That's why it is a disingenuous example.  saying "they are suing them for helping them" is obscuring the truth of the situation.  That would be like if someone robs me, neighbors donate money to help me in excess of what I lost from the robbery, but I press charges against the thief when he is caught and someone accuses me of pressing charges against a person who helped me make money and said it was "ironic"... when it isn't.

To say it isn't ironic is like saying something isn't funny.  To me it is "ironic".  To you, obviously not.



#187 OFFLINE   cypherx

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Posted 02 July 2014 - 09:30 AM

But TV manufacturers and Digital Converter manufacturers all profit from selling equipment that has the ability to tune OTA.  So couldn't broadcasters sue these companies because they are making profit on something that can tune their signals?

 

Or are these companies paying royalties to some broadcast alliance for each country they sell in?


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#188 OFFLINE   Stewart Vernon

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Posted 02 July 2014 - 12:17 PM

But TV manufacturers and Digital Converter manufacturers all profit from selling equipment that has the ability to tune OTA.  So couldn't broadcasters sue these companies because they are making profit on something that can tune their signals?

 

Or are these companies paying royalties to some broadcast alliance for each country they sell in?

 

I don't pretend to know the logistics of it... but without TVs and digital converters, nobody would be able to watch OTA broadcast... so they obviously have to "allow" such products to be sold.  Now in the UK there is a TV tax where you pay for each TV you have, and that goes to fund the programming.  Here in the US we don't have such a system, but I can't say for 100% that there isn't somehow a tie-in for TV/converter manufacturers that in some way funds the FCC.


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#189 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 02 July 2014 - 04:36 PM

But TV manufacturers and Digital Converter manufacturers all profit from selling equipment that has the ability to tune OTA.  So couldn't broadcasters sue these companies because they are making profit on something that can tune their signals?


Don't give broadcasters any ideas! The ability to tune OTA is not a violation of law. While some broadcasters may WANT to charge a fee at every opportunity, the TV/tuner industry is not one of those opportunities.


Or are these companies paying royalties to some broadcast alliance for each country they sell in?


No payment is required. TVs do not copy, tuners do not copy. The devices do not require any royalty to be bought, owned or used.

(Stewart's comment about UK Television licenses refers to a tax that funds public broadcasting ... not privately owned broadcast stations or networks.)
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#190 OFFLINE   Stewart Vernon

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Posted 02 July 2014 - 06:49 PM

Yeah... I probably should have clarified that since the UK also has some non-public-funded channels as well.  It was the closest thing I could think of, though, where in some country there was a fee related to the TV itself.


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#191 OFFLINE   cypherx

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Posted 02 July 2014 - 09:23 PM

No payment is required. TVs do not copy, tuners do not copy. The devices do not require any royalty to be bought, owned or used.

 

Ok so tuners do not copy (unless you buy a DVR, but they are pretty good at "marrying" the recordings to the DVR it was made on).  

 

My mind can remember a show I watched OTA and I can sort of "play it back" in my head.  When are they going to start taxing my brain?  Heck, our society already sells canned air and bottled water!  


Edited by cypherx, 02 July 2014 - 09:24 PM.

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#192 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 02 July 2014 - 09:50 PM

My mind can remember a show I watched OTA and I can sort of "play it back" in my head.  When are they going to start taxing my brain?


Hopefully playing it back in your head is "personal use". Unless there are other people living inside your head ...

It wouldn't be a tax but a rights fee (although all of our brains may be physically taxed by some of the discussion in this thread). If you were to publicly perform the copyrighted work you may be liable for copyright violation.

So remember - when you stand around the watercooler giving your synopsis of your favorite show please keep quoted material to a responsible "fair use" level. Do not quote the entire show word for word (giving a public performance of copyrighted material). :)
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#193 OFFLINE   Laxguy

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Posted 02 July 2014 - 10:32 PM

Word for word!? :)   The only show in modern times that I could do that with would be the The Dancer (A mute dancer teaches movement to adoring kids and wins the dance contest every Saturday night at a cavernous Brooklyn disco, makes the final cut for a Broadway show but is dismissed when.....) or that other one with the French guy, the name of which has left the building—I think there's one word of dialog.... :)


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#194 OFFLINE   Athlon646464

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Posted 24 October 2014 - 05:28 AM

Update: Judge formally bans Aereo from streaming live TV to devices
 
(engadget.com) - Aereo can no longer relay TV shows to its customers using its teeny-tiny antennas (for now, that is), according to US District Judge Alison Nathan. It's been a while since the Supreme Court decided that the service violates the law by "transmitting performances of copyrighted work to the public," but it's only now that a judge has issued a temporary ban order.
 
Wondering what's next for Aereo? Well, the jury's still out on whether it can record and store programs to be aired at a later time. The judge didn't grant TV networks their request to stop the company from doing so, since they didn't include it as part of their demands when they first filed a lawsuit. She's currently investigating whether she should grant that request, though...
 
 
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#195 OFFLINE   SeaBeagle

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Posted 24 October 2014 - 03:24 PM

Good Aereo would not let me even sign up.


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#196 OFFLINE   KyL416

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Posted 24 October 2014 - 03:31 PM

Good Aereo would not let me even sign up.

Again, Aereo's purpose was NOT to let people get any market they want, at no point did they claim otherwise. Unless their antennas were setup in your market you could NOT get service.

Their purpose was to cater to cord cutters who couldn't get reliable OTA reception as well as those who wanted to watch local TV on the go since all those pocket TVs became obsolete with the digital transition.




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