Free-TV-via-web provider FilmOn X looks like it’s going to be shut down in Washington D.C and across the nation, thanks to a federal court ruling today. The granting of a preliminary injunction for plaintiffs Fox Television Stations, ABC and NBC by the D.C. District Court could also have implications for Barry Diller’s Aereo service, which is fighting various legal battles of its own against the networks – winning some, losing others and grinding away at more still. “This Court concludes that the Copyright Act forbids FilmOn X from retransmitting Plaintiffs’ copyrighted programs over the Internet. Plaintiffs are thus likely to succeed on their claim that FilmOn X violates Plaintiffs’ exclusive public performance rights in their copyrighted works,” wrote Judge Rosemary Collyer in an opinion released Thursday (read it here). However despite today’s opinion by the court, FilmOn’s CEO Alki David says it ain’t over yet. “We will continue without the Networks and appeal. We will win in the appeal,” the billionaire media provocateur told me this afternoon. On the other hand, the 35-page decision was exactly what Fox wanted to hear after the court fights it and other networks have had with FilmOn X and its former incarnation Aeroekiller in various jurisdictions. “We are pleased, but not surprised that the court recognized that the commercial retransmission of our broadcast signal without permission or compensation is a clear violation of the law. This decision should finally put the matter to rest, and will hopefully discourage other illegal services from attempting to steal our content, said Fox. ABC, NBC and Fox filed a copyright infringement lawsuit in federal court in DC against FilmOn on May 23 seeking the injunction. FilmOn X had actually stopped streaming in D.C for a month this spring before starting up again in late June. At the same time, he countersued in this particular case and charged the networks with trying to “abandon their responsibilities to the American public.” And not that David ever let an injunction stop him from spreading FilmOn X. Even though a preliminary injunction from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals late last year was intended to prevent the service from operating in the Western states and Hawaii, FilmOn started up in the Pacific Northwest in mid-August.
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