Digital HHR

Digital HHR

on the cutting edge of convergence

Netflix-Virgin Media UK Deal Opens Front Door for “Over-the-Top” Services

Digital HHR Posted in Technology, Television

Virgin Media has become the first major pay-TV provider to integrate Netflix’s subscription video service on its cable system.

Starting this week, a select number of Virgin Media customers will be able to access Netflix directly through an app on Virgin Media’ TiVo set-top boxes. Those customers will still need a separate Netflix account (which they can set up through the app) and, for now, billing for customer’s pay-TV and Netflix subscriptions will be separate. Virgin Media is expected to roll-out the app to all its TiVo boxes later this year.

The agreement is a breakthrough for Netflix. Its app is not available on US cable systems, with providers generally viewing Netflix as a competitor to their own pay-TV services and offerings. And enabling viewers to access Netflix on their TVs, without needing internet access (either directly through the TV or through a device or console, like Apple TV or Xbox 360) may pave the way for Netflix to expand its subscriber base.

Whether or not other cable providers (whether in the UK or here in the US) follow Virgin Media’s lead is yet to be seen. But this could be the first of many deals that may lower the barrier for OTT services to get into living rooms and dens around the world.

DigitalHHR Receives Chambers USA Honors

Digital HHR Posted in Firm News, Press/Publications

DigitalHHR received Band 3 honors in Chambers USA’s “Media & Entertainment” category in its 2013 rankings. In addition to highlighting the practice group’s “new media and technology expertise” and the team’s representation of “the media industry’s most prominent traditional and digital entities”, Dan Schnapp was specifically recognized as an “up and coming” practitioner in the space, receiving kudos from clients for being “thoughtful, responsive and clearly knowledgeable on the subject matter.” The complete write up and practice profile can be found here. Ranked in_US_firm_2013_300dpi

Copyright Disruption in the Cloud: Latest Appellate Court Decision in Aereo Case Widens U.S. Court Split Over Rights Required for Streaming Entertainment Content from the Cloud – One Step Closer to U.S. Supreme Court Showdown?

Dan SchnappMatthew Syrkin Posted in Cloud, Copyright, Litigation

The ongoing convergence of cloud-based products and services with the delivery and consumption of entertainment content continues to raise novel legal questions in the United States. As more and more businesses turn to the cloud, the scope and bounds of copyright law, in particular, continue to be impacted by new and disruptive offerings promising consumers the “cloudification” of their entertainment content. Whether conceived of in the form of a remote, cloud-based DVR, a Slingbox-enabled satellite TV set-top box or a dime-sized antenna receiving and transmitting TV broadcasts via the cloud, U.S. courts over the last six years have continually weighed in on the balance between copyright holders’ exclusive rights to exploit their works and consumers’ and service providers’ ability to make lawful use of these works through emerging cloud-based technology solutions. Continue Reading

SDNY in ReDigi Case Rejects “First Sale” Doctrine for Digital Music Files

Digital HHR Posted in Fair Use

The courts are continuing to shape copyright law’s “first sale doctrine” as the second of two separate, “first sale” cases was finally decided. Two weeks ago, we discussed how the US Supreme Court extended the doctrine to apply to overseas goods. And in a decision dated March 30, a Southern District of New York judge ruled that the doctrine does not apply to the sale of digital goods. Continue Reading

Supreme Court Extends “First Sale” Doctrine to Overseas Goods

Digital HHR Posted in Copyright, Fair Use

Last November, we discussed two separate cases regarding copyright law’s “first sale doctrine” and how their decisions could affect the future of content creation and distribution. Section 106 of the Copyright Act grants copyright holders the exclusive right to distribute copies of their works, but Section 109 allows the owner of a copy of a work “to sell or otherwise dispose of” that copy without permission of the copyright owner. Yesterday, the US Supreme Court issued its decision in Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons, in which it held, by a 6-3 decision, that the first sale doctrine applies to copyrighted goods that are manufactured abroad. Continue Reading

“Use it or Lose it”: EU’s Copyright Extension Leads to Jockeying and Uncertainty

Digital HHR Posted in Copyright

As we previously reported here, the EU voted in 2011 to extend copyright protection for sound recordings from 50 to 70 years. Two major record labels, Sony Music and Universal, recently received media attention for their response to provisions in the new law, which is set to take official effect in EU member states on November 1, 2013. By rushing out releases of archival Bob Dylan and Motown material just weeks before the original 50-year copyright clock on those recordings was set to expire, the labels were exercising what’s known as the “use it or lose it” option under the new law. (Although there is no similar provision in U.S. copyright law, the EU extension clearly impacts American artists who have recorded in Europe at some point in their music careers.) Continue Reading

Twitter’s Embedded Tweet Functionality Further Erodes Control of Content Owners

Digital HHR Posted in Copyright, Social Media

Twitter recently updated its service, expanding how tweets can be embedded and displayed outside of its website. Instead of accessing tweets only through Twitter.com, individuals can now view full “Twitter cards” directly on any website. These cards include not only tweeted text but also any photo, video, or other content the tweet contains. Effectively, embedded tweets put tweeted content on any website on the Internet. However, despite a recent federal court ruling involving retweeted photos that was favorable to content owners, this enhanced functionality may enable third parties to reproduce content with the owner’s permission while avoiding the pitfalls of copyright infringement. Continue Reading

Copyright Disruption in the Cloud: U.S. Courts Divided Over Rights Required for Streaming Entertainment Content from the Cloud – Could a U.S. Supreme Court Showdown be Looming?

Dan SchnappMatthew Syrkin Posted in Television
The ongoing convergence of cloud-based products and services with the delivery and consumption of entertainment content continues to raise novel legal questions in the United States. As more and more businesses turn to the cloud, the scope and bounds of copyright law, in particular, continue to be impacted by new and disruptive offerings promising consumers the “cloudification” of their entertainment content. Whether conceived of in the form of a remote, cloud-based DVR, a Slingbox-enabled satellite TV set-top box or a dime-sized antenna receiving and transmitting TV broadcasts via the cloud, U.S. courts over the last six years have continually weighed in on the balance between copyright holders’ exclusive rights to exploit their works and consumers and service providers ability to make lawful use of these works through emerging cloud-based technology solutions.

Matt and Dan Participate in “Television and Disruptive Technologies” panel for the Copyright Society of the U.S.A.

Digital HHR Posted in Copyright, Events, Technology, Television

Matt Syrkin recently presented and moderated a presentation for the Copyright Society of the U.S.A. titled, “Television and Disruptive Technologies: Copyright’s New Frontier” at New York City’s Princeton Club. Dan Schnapp and other prominent practitioners served as panelists for the sold-out engagement which addressed the crucial business and legal issues raised by the introduction of a new wave of internet-based, TV-focused technologies geared to disrupt the traditional TV-delivery and consumption ecosystem in the US, including Smart TVs, second screen experiences, automatic content recognition, TV apps and interactive ad placement/serving. A video of the presentation can be viewed online and downloaded at http://www.csusa.org/chapters_new_york_video_9.htm