Court Orders Movie Web Site to Stop Ad Insertion

ANN ARBOR, MICH. and ZURICH: Online video provider Zattoo has been ordered to stop inserting commercials in movies it offers up on its Web site. A court in Berlin, Germany, issued a preliminary injunction on behalf of Universal and Warner Bros., which alleged that Zatoo was inserting its own ads into movies that had aired on free German TV. Zattoo says it’s running the same ads as those shown on TV, according to the Guardian’stech blog. The court nonetheless ordered Zattoo to stop streaming movies from the two German broadcasters in question until the issue was resolved.

The studios allege that Zattoo has no right to insert commercials in TV rebroadcasts and are seeking unspecified license fees. The service launched in Switzerland in 2006 and has since been made available in Spain, Belgium, Denmark, the Great Britian and France. A North America expansion is planned as well. Zattoo, based in Zurich and Michigan, has north of 4 million registered users. -- Deborah D. McAdams