Ivi Inc could get its own cord cut...

written by: Paul Johnson

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alt Since our story about Ivi Inc launching a new web based 'revolutionary live television application, which promised to help viewers cut the cord from the "antiquated cable industry..." (read more here:  Ivi Inc wants to help viewers cut the cord...), it would seem that they have worried the industry more than it should.

We have learned that in the space of just a week, they have received cease-and-desist letters from an impressive list of concerned content owners / broadcasters, including NBC Universal, CBS, Fox Television Stations, 20th Century Fox, MLB, Disney Enterprises, Fisher Communications and others.

It has only taken a week for the industry to respond to Ivi Inc, meaning some major feathers have been ruffled and actually does more for confirming Ivi Inc as a serious disruptive technology, than a flash in the pan start up waiting for an exit strategy.

So why has this upset the major media companies, and how might this play out?

Daniel Kummer, the attorney at NBC Universal sums up the sentiment of all the companies involved in submitting cease-and-desist orders on Ivi Inc, when he said that their claim that Ivi is working within the law is

"Nonsense and has no merit..."  "As you are surely aware, prior Internet-based television services making similar claims have been enjoined, or have discontinued their unauthorized illegal offerings, following legal challenge..." 

In response, Ivi Inc has submitted a lawsuit in a Seattle federal court, citing that it has the rights to broadcast over the air content, under the Copyright Act.

"The Copyright Act expressly authorizes secondary transmission of copyrighted works embodied in primary transmissions," the suit says. "For example, the Copyright Act expressly approves of the secondary transmission of an original television broadcast where the secondary transmission is subject to a statutory license."

So this seems to be the *legal loophole* Ivi Inc is depending upon to fight back these cease-and-desist orders, however itsnt this the same arguement used by many other secondary broadcasters that have since been closed down?
In a press release, Ivi Inc continues to be the 'consumer champion':
Ivi, Inc., remains steadfastly on the side of the consumer, refusing to allow big media to limit consumers’ choice or its technology. Instead, ivi has responded to the C&D letters with both written clarification explaining how its technology works within the parameters of existing law, and offers to meet with broadcasters to begin a constructive dialogue about implementing ivi’s proprietary technology. The ivi technology is a clear reflection of consumer demand and evolutionary forces in the technology marketplace.

You can read the Full suit here, however this seems to be a case of a disruptive technology taking the fight to the major TV broadcasters, before it has really disrupted anything, and as such has given the TV Broadcasters the chance to close this down, whether there is a legal case or not.  
If you observe other disruptive technologies, those that have succeeded in changing or becoming part of the eco system have been those that reached a critical mass by stealth, something Ivi Inc has not yet achieved.
So it looks like Ivi Inc could be closing its doors at some point soon, however a few lessons could be learned by the TV Broadcasters, to ensure the technical advancements demonstrated by the Ivi Inc application can ultimately benefit your average couch potato.

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