RBR-TVBR’s story in April began “Get the lawyers on the phone!” so the only surprise is that it has taken nearly three months for Viacom to sue Cablevision over its app that allows cable subscribers to have live streaming of all channels on their iPads.
Viacom’s filing in a New York federal court came even as Viacom and Time Warner Cable put their streaming litigation on hold while they negotiate a potential settlement.
In its suit Viacom seeks “to permanently enjoin Cablevision from further infringing Viacom’s trademarks and engaging in the unauthorized distribution of Viacom’s copyrighted entertainment programming to wireless portable devices via the iPad App.” Unless Cablevision is stopped, Viacom said, its actions will interfere with Viacom’s efforts to license its content to third-party wireless and broadband companies.
Viacom has been the most aggressive, but numerous content owners have objected to MSOs making their programming available over anything but television screens without a separate license.
Cablevision had insisted otherwise. Back at the April launch it said “The application turns the iPad into an additional television, enabling Cablevision customers to view the same live programming and VOD content already being delivered to other TVs in the home as part of the service they have paid for.”