Ivi TV is either going to change the way the TV industry deals with the online sector or go down in flames very quickly. Either way it should be fun watching the battle between old and new, traditional and forward-thinking play out.
Ivi TV is a frankly astonishing new service that could revolutionize the TV and online video industries.
Ivi is a Seattle-based startup whose new service, ivi TV, makes it possible for anyone anywhere in the world to watch live television broadcasts. At the very least the service will cause debate and shake things up a little.
In a nutshell, ivi TV delivers live television feeds from cable affiliates in Seattle and New York. Ivi pays the Copyright Office for the capture of the signal, which in turns pays the stations being rebroadcast on the Web.
The app is available from the ivi website. After a 30-day free trial it will cost $4.99-a-month.
ivi Sues Rights Holders
As you may have guessed from that short, entirely non-technical description of the service, there are some fairly big and blatant legal question marks over the whole business.
It hasn’t taken long for the rights holders being affected to take action, with at least 10 of them sending cease-and-desist letters to ivi. Rather than immediately bow to this pressure, the company has launched a pre-emptive lawsuit against its accusers.
Ivi believes the service is acting entirely within the bounds of law and is seeking declaratory judgment that it is not infringing on U.S. copyright laws at this point in time.
Ivi believes that by only offering these transmissions online it isn’t bound by the FCC and is therefore clear to do what it wants as long as it pays royalties to the networks for the content it is retransmitting.
I cannot for the life of me see how ivi is going to get away with this. Maybe the company is sticking to the letter of the law here, but I suspect the law will be changed before ivi TV gets given the go-ahead to carry on.
If, however, the unthinkable happens and ivi TV wins its lawsuit then the service is an absolute steal at $4.99-a-month. It sure as hell beats a cable bill of between $60 and $100.
Have Something To Say?
Ask a Question Or Offer Your 2 Cents:
Subscribe to Web TV Wire by Email
Keep up to date with Web TV, Video and IPTV News:
Subscribe to Web TV Wire via RSS