Digital entrepreneur Alki David has a characteristically tough sounding response to the suit against his BarryDriller streaming video service that Fox filed yesterday at U.S. District Court in California. “Bring it on Fox, you have no idea what you have just done,” he says. But the company’s case against BarryDriller is consistent with the arguments that Fox and other broadcasters have raised against Aereo — the Barry Diller-backed service that also offers subscribers online streams of over-the-air programming. The complaint notes that since Tuesday the defendant, BarryDriller Content Systems, has infringed on Fox’s copyrights and trademarks by retransmitting its broadcast shows without the company’s permission. It specifically cites Fox-owned shows taken from KABC, and KTTV. “The rights to transmit Plaintiffs’ programming over the Internet and to portable devices are extremely valuable,” Fox says. It wants the court to enjoin the BarryDriller service and require it to pay unspecified damages. David and Aereo have said they’re just offering programming that broadcasters already make available for free. Fox says, though, that “No amount of technological gimmickry by Defendants changes the fundamental principle of copyright law that those who wish to retransmit Plaintiffs’ broadcasts may do so only with Plaintiffs’ authority.”
David launched BarryDriller right after he signed an agreement to pull the plug on a streaming service by his company, FilmOn, and to pay the major broadcasters $1.6M. He told me last week that he now wants to do business with broadcasters — paying them for the right to retransmit their signals on BarryDriller. “We want to maintain the status quo,” he says. Meanwhile he seems to be having fun thumbing his nose at them, and everyone else in the field. The company David is using to support BarryDriller is called “AereoKiller LLC.” He notes that the entity isn’t subject to his settlement agreement requiring FilmOn to stop streaming: “While FilmOn.TV helps promote Aerokiller LLC, the service is provided exclusively by Aerokiller LLC, and is made available via a different URL, not FilmOn.com or FilmOn.TV.”
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