ivi TV Challenges 'Big Media' to Innovate Rather than Litigate

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ivi TV Offers Consumers' Affordable Content; Legal Solution to Cable Conundrum

Convergence 2010: Untangling the Future of Video

In less than one week since its launch, ivi TV™ has successfully managed to win the hearts of consumers around the planet, stir significant industry debate, and attract the attention of every major broadcaster in the U.S.

Subsequently, ivi, Inc., has received several cease and desist (C&D) letters from big media copyright conglomerates, including NBC-Universal, CBS, Disney, ABC, The CW Television Stations, Inc., Fox Television, Major League Baseball, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, WGBH, WNET.org, and Fisher Communications.

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.

In a move to further bolster the company's legal right to retransmit broadcast signals, ivi, Inc., responded to the numerous cease and desist letters by also filing a Complaint for Declaratory Judgment of Copyright Noninfringement in the United States District Court in Seattle, Washington on Monday, a preemptive move to discourage needless litigation from big media. (Case reference is ivi, Inc. v. Fisher Communications, Inc. et al, Case Number: 2:10-cv-01512 https://ecf.wawd.uscourts.gov/cgi-bin/DktRpt.pl?170422)

The Complaint states that ivi is legally operating under U.S. Copyright Law. According to section 16 of page 3 of the Complaint, "The Copyright Act expressly authorizes secondary transmissions of copyrighted works embodied in primary transmissions. 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. Under Section 111 of the Copyright Act, statutory licensing fees are paid periodically to the Register of Copyrights in accordance with an established scale and schedule. Section 111 further provides that the secondary transmission of an over-the-air primary transmission is not an infringement of copyrights in the works contained in the primary transmission."

"ivi is not another Pirate Bay or Napster trying to gain from others' works. Rather, ivi wishes to work with content owners in helping them to realize new revenue streams and reach more viewers from around the globe," said Todd Weaver, founder and CEO. "The ivi team has spent more than three years developing a compelling technological solution that no other company has come close to matching. ivi enables content owners to protect and monetize their assets while simultaneously giving consumers what they want. We recognize that it is disruptive to existing cable offerings and remain confident that we have adopted a model that is allowed under all applicable laws. We remain receptive to formal partnerships with broadcast networks and are discussing carriage rights for premium cable, international, and a la carte channels "

While copyright conglomerates ponder their legal strategies, market forces and new technologies are pressuring them to respond quickly.

Recognizing that the consumer trend of cord-cutting is here to stay, late last week Credit Suisse downgraded many stocks related to traditional cable (pay TV), as consumers readily recognize that with the advent of Netflix and ivi TV, there are not many compelling reasons left to continue paying high cable bills and they are, instead, increasingly choosing to cut the cord and use over the top (OTT) offerings to legally access the content they wish to consume.

As Credit Suisse points out in their treatise on the entertainment industry, "Convergence 2010: Untangling the Future of Video", big media still has a chance to help define their own destiny if they embrace innovation in a timely manner and don't waste countless years in pointless litigation, a past strategy that has proven ineffective, as witnessed by the music industry.

Credit Suisse further validates the concept that big media needs to embrace innovation and new business models quickly while they can still maintain their own destiny.

Cord-cutting behavior is not new, but its validation and measurement by industry analysts as an increasing consumer trend is a recent development that has sent shockwaves throughout the media and their financial backers.

"It's not too late for cable companies to recognize that their existing business models are quickly becoming obsolete while their customers demand more options," added Weaver. "By partnering with ivi, we provide channels secure distribution, while providing consumers affordability and choice. A cable channel like HBO, for example, could easily have a channel on ivi TV where they set the a la carte price at $7.99/mo, knowing their content is fully protected through our system, and that only ivi subscribers who have paid for the HBO subscription will be able to view the HBO channel. Everyone wins."

All stakeholders should demand that broadcast networks and cable companies resist the urge to repeat the mistakes of previous industries, such as music and publishing, who suffer continued steep decline by battling consumer demand in the courtroom rather than listening to the court of public opinion.

ivi TV gives people what they've wanted for years, easy-to-use live Internet TV anytime, anywhere to almost any bandwidth speed on a growing number of Internet-connected devices through a proprietary distribution method without buffering, hiccups, or other technical issues, all available via a downloadable app at ivi's website

"ivi has created the technology breakthrough necessary to deliver live TV to the Internet. Now, big media can make the decision whether to react like oligopolists or embrace change and innovation," said Ron Erickson, Chairman of ivi, Inc

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About ivi

ivi TV ™ endeavors to make the world a better place by providing a high-quality viewing experience while offering consumers what they want in the way they want it, with more choices, less hardware, and higher standards than other modes of online content delivery. At the same time, ivi TV increases eyeballs for channels and advertisers, continuing and adding to the live television tradition in an innovative and sustainable manner. Consumers, broadcasters and advertisers alike will agree that live television, most notably sports and news programming, is here to stay. The solution is ivi TV. And the time is now. ivi, Inc., is based in Seattle. For more information, please visit http://www.ivi.tv.

Hal Bringman
hal (at) nvpr.com
+1.310-210-8011 (mobile)
Skype: halbringman
Twitter: @halbringman


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