FilmOn fined as interpretation of Aereo ruling questioned

Following Aereo’s shut-down in the US, rival FilmOn has been fined US$90,000 (€67,000) relating to its interpretation of a previous ruling affecting similar mini-antenna technology.

FilmOn was fined for violating a 2012 injunction that prohibited it from streaming broadcast signals. The company’s argument that the earlier injunction didn’t specifically prohibit the use of mini-antenna technology failed to find favour with US District Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald, who said that it prohibited FilmOn from
streaming broadcast signals by any means.

The judge also rejected an argument by FilmOn that its technology was similar to that of Aereo, which the Supreme Court described as bearing certain similarities to a cable system, which would mean it was entitled to rebroadcast channels if it accepted copyright liability. Buchwald ruled that being “very similar” to a cable system did not mean that companies such as FilmOn had the same entitlements as actual cable operators.