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

Discussion in 'Internet Streaming Services' started by Athlon646464, Oct 11, 2013.

  1. Satelliteracer

    Satelliteracer Hall Of Fame

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    More of a curiosity question, what was the "right thing to do" in this case? Sounds like an awful slippery slope to say once it leaves a tower they have no say in what happens to it, at least that's what SCOTUS ultimately determined.

    As for the 93% disapproval rating they have, this may be true (I've seen it more around 85%), but they get reelected at greater than 50%...much greater. One of those deals where everyone hates their Congress critter, but they continue to be elected time after time.
     
  2. James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Gold Club DBSTalk Club

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    The initial decision of SCOTUS was along those lines ... but Congress stepped in and wrote a law that changed copyright. "No say in what happens next" would have been an easier decision when there was not much else one could do to the received signal but watch it (or retransmit it live as the CATV companies did). VCR, DVRs, recording for file sharing with others, streaming ... all concepts that were not common practice in 1976. Live (or as close as technically possible) retransmission without modification would be a good step back to being consumer friendly. And if some copyright payment needs to be paid it should be at a statutory rate ... just like Distant Networks ... not at a locally set ransom rate.

    At least that is the way I'd tilt at the windmill.

    [My long winded reply to the political comment deleted.]
     
  3. cypherx

    cypherx Hall Of Fame

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    I say if you want liability of your signal when it leaves the tower, encrypt it. That's what the local law enforcement in our area did. They went from analog two way radio communication you could listen to with a police scanner, to digital apco p25 encrypted. You don't want people to intercept it, you encrypt it. They don't even make those old 40 MHz 25 channel analog cordless phones anymore. I think even the few 900 MHz cordless phones out there are encrypted or digital.

    Sure leaving your house unlocked, its still not lawful for someone to come in and steal your stuff. But leaving the doors unlocked sure does make it easy.
     
  4. bflora

    bflora Legend

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    I understand the need for copyright protection, but the irony of OTA broadcasters spending huge amounts to build taller and more powerful transmitters to increase the number of viewers and then suing companies for increasing their number of viewers for free is ridiculous. I think a law to allow retransmission of OTA signals in an unaltered form would make sense as long as it does not infringe upon the service area of another broadcaster of the same copyrighted material.
     
  5. Stuart Sweet

    Stuart Sweet The Shadow Knows!

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    I believe this may be illegal in that broadcasters have a mandate to serve the public trust with their signals. Encrypting them would make this pretty hard.
     
  6. Stewart Vernon

    Stewart Vernon Roving Reporter Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    As has already been posted, they can't. They *might* be able to encrypt their sub-channels... but at least one channel must be unencrypted by law. That doesn't even get into the fact that encryption schemes have been foiled time and again and are no better protection than the locks are on your house if someone really wants to get inside... so lack of encryption does not constitute relinquishing rights to protect your interests.

    What irony? They are protecting themselves from people stealing and profiting from their signals. There is already law to allow retransmission of OTA signals in unaltered form... there doesn't need to be a new one. Cable and satellite companies could be retransmitting the OTA signal for free if they wanted to... but they instead want to profit from it by charging their customers... and that's why the OTA stations want to be paid for their signal.

    The rights to retransmit for free could have been negotiated if that was how they wanted to do it... but they didn't. They know the public wants their locals, and they know people in fringe areas OR just for convenience will pay for them... so they charge for the service... and as such, OTA is entitled to a fee for that.
     
  7. Satelliteracer

    Satelliteracer Hall Of Fame

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    Can't do that, the signal has to be in the open for the public. At least that is my understanding. Because they are held to that standard, the broadcaster can't protect its signal accordingly.
     
  8. Herdfan

    Herdfan Well-Known Member

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    Teays...
    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.
     
  9. bflora

    bflora Legend

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    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.
     
  10. tonyd79

    tonyd79 Hall Of Fame

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    That would not fly at all. First, how is it a win-win? No one wins but the guy who gets the box. DirecTV and Dish would be in violation of their agreements with the OTA channels or they would have to pay for the people they are providing the service to.

    Second, what is the incentive for DirecTV or Dish? Selling off old boxes that are probably not working anyway? That is minimal money. No incentive.
     
  11. tonyd79

    tonyd79 Hall Of Fame

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    Stealing? You mean the people who put up an antenna? That is not stealing. That is legally free.
     
  12. bflora

    bflora Legend

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    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.
     
  13. Jtaylor1

    Jtaylor1 Legend

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    This case affects on how we watch TV. Should Viacom use this decision against Google's Youtube, it would be the end of free online streaming as we know it because SCOTUS has created a "Looks-Like-Cable" standard for online streaming services.
     
  14. KyL416

    KyL416 Hall Of Fame

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    That has NOTHING to do with this. YouTube doesn't upload their own content, any TV shows or movies you find is either official content from the networks or studios, some of it premium that you can buy, or unofficial uploads that can and will be taken down as soon as the rights holder finds it and sends a DMCA takedown request which leads to the uploader getting banned. A process that has been going on long before Aereo was even a thing.
     
  15. Herdfan

    Herdfan Well-Known Member

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    Teays...
    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.
     
  16. Stewart Vernon

    Stewart Vernon Roving Reporter Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    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.

    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 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.
     
  17. James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Gold Club DBSTalk Club

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    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.
     
  18. Jul 1, 2014 #178 of 196
    bflora

    bflora Legend

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  19. Jul 1, 2014 #179 of 196
    Stewart Vernon

    Stewart Vernon Roving Reporter Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    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.
     
  20. Jul 1, 2014 #180 of 196
    tonyd79

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    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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