Compulsory Licenses In The Digital Age

Are Internet streaming services cable systems under Section 111 of the Copyright Act and therefore entitled to retransmit broadcast television under the compulsory license scheme? Under Section 111, cable systems can rebroadcast traditional broadcast television content in exchange for paying a statutory license fee to the Copyright Office at the Library of Congress. After the Supreme Court in American Broadcasting Companies, Inv. V. Aereo compared Internet streaming services to cable companies, FilmOn a company that streams television content over the Internet, argued that under the Supreme Court’s reasoning it should be entitled to participate in the compulsory license scheme. Broadcasters objected and brought two different lawsuits. Join Decoding IP’s Jennifer Atkins and Rebecca Cusey as they discuss the lawsuits, the history of the compulsory license scheme, and the impact of new technologies on our existing copyright legal framework.

Photo Credit: frankieleon via Creative Commons license.

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