published on March 21, 2017 - 10:40 AM
Written by The Business Journal Staff

(AP) — In a victory for television broadcasters, a federal appeals court has rejected legal arguments that sought to allow live online TV on the internet.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said Tuesday that an internet television provider cannot avoid copyright law by claiming online TV is a cable company.

The case pitted Fox and other TV broadcasters against FilmOn X. FilmOn transmitted TV programming over the internet to paying subscribers without copyright permission.

The company argued that it was a cable provider. Cable providers can obtain licenses that allow them to broadcast programming without the copyright owner’s consent.

A three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit said the U.S. Copyright Office reasonably and persuasively concluded that companies such as FilmOn are not cable providers.

An email to the company was not immediately returned.

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