ivi TV Chief Challenges NAB Statement

Todd Weaver, chief executive officer of ivi TV, a brand new Internet business that delivers major TV network and sports programming to PCs on a subscription basis, was quick to respond to a recent NAB statement that labeled his company’s retransmission activities as “blatantly illegal.”

The NAB statement stemmed from a suit filed in the U.S. District Court in Seattle, Wash. by ivi TV in response to demands by broadcasters that the company shut down its retransmission business. The legal action was intended as a defensive measure by ivi TV and seeks a “Declaratory Judgment of Copyright Noninfringement.”

In addition to labeling ivi TV’s business illegal, the NAB statement supported efforts by broadcasters and content creators alike in combating “abuse and signal piracy.”

Weaver stated that his company had been wrongly accused of copyright infringement and had filed the suit to set matters straight.

“We understand the NAB's point of view and welcome this opportunity to enlighten them. ivi TV (ivi, Inc.,) filed a lawsuit, because we were wrongly accused of copyright infringement, an accusation disruptive to our business,” Weaver said. “We needed resolution of these issues right away. We believe the copyright claims are unsubstantiated and are really just camouflage for trying to stifle innovation and competition.”

He added that his company reimbursed television broadcasters “in accordance with the law, just like cable,” and stated that the situation involving ivi TV revolved around competition, not copyright law.

“Congress created the compulsory licensing scheme for cable systems, to distribute broadcast content to the masses,” Weaver said. “We intend to increase viewer numbers and would welcome opportunities to work with the broadcasters. Broadcasters fought against cable companies, then joined them. Broadcasters then fought against satellite companies, then joined them. Now it is our turn. History has a habit of repeating itself--and it is unfortunate they cannot learn from that and realize we strongly support broadcasters and their program suppliers helping them monetize, increase their eyeballs, and ultimately get paid.”

ivi TV is based in Seattle and has been offering delivery of a number of Seattle and New York television stations via the Internet for $5 per month.