Media provocateur Alki David‘s service stopped streaming over-the-air broadcast signals in DC in May, after ABC, Fox, and NBC filed a copyright infringement suit in federal court . But now he says he’s back on in the Nation’s Capitol. He’s also returning fire with a countersuit (read it here) that charges the networks with trying to “abandon their responsibilities to the American public.” The broadcasters have the benefit of using the publicly owned airwaves for free, which also gives them the right to demand carriage on basic cable. In return “the Networks have an obligation to serve the public.” But the filing says that they “continue to attempt to block consumers’ access to valuable and beneficial technologies” like the streaming service provided by David’s company — which had been called Aereokiller and now calls itself FilmOn X. “The FilmOn X technology enhances customers’ ability to watch the same free over-the-air broadcast content that the American public is entitled to receive in accordance with the public interest recognized by Congress and the Supreme Court,” the court filing says. It also alleges that NBC broke the law by refusing to negotiate a carriage deal with FilmOn X:
When Comcast bought NBCUniversal it assured the FCC that it would to negotiate programming deals in good faith with cable competitors. But David says that when he sought a deal “NBC’s executives responded by saying they would only be willing to sell FilmOn one particular program from the dawn of television that is essentially worthless at present day, for a cost of $500,000.00 per year.” FilmOn X asked the U.S. District Court in DC to dismiss the broadcasters’ suit and make them pay for legal costs and “other and further relief as the Court may deem just and proper.”
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