SOURCE: FilmOn

FilmOn

December 16, 2013 14:50 ET

Consumer Advocacy Groups Step Up to Support FilmOn

Three Major Non-Profits File a Brief Citing Extreme Harm to Digital Innovation and Commerce in the United States Caused by a District of Columbia Court of Appeals Decision

LOS ANGELES, CA--(Marketwired - Dec 16, 2013) - FilmOn, the world's leading free TV streaming service, today responded to the friend of the court brief filed by non-for-profit public interest organizations: Public Knowledge, the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Engine Advocacy.

"With this brief we're seeing that the public has taken a strong interest in its right to access free-to-air broadcast signals and benefit from innovation in business and technology that serve public interest," said FilmOn Founder & CEO Alki David, regarding the amicus brief filed by the three groups. "It also shows that the ruling is ridiculous and proves that the courts are willfully ignoring the public interest.

Most importantly, this brief reminds everyone that FilmOn is not breaking the law. You cannot steal something that is free. Our service delivers free-to-air broadcast channels to consumers' internet devices via individually rented remote antenna farms. Consumers have the right to enjoy the free service FilmOn technology provides and for this reason, we have appealed the court's preliminary injunction."

Public Knowledge, the Washington D.C. based public advocacy group for citizens' rights in emerging digital culture, joined by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the San Francisco based non-profit for civil liberties in the digital world, and Engine Advocacy, the pro-startup policy research and advocacy group, in filing a friend of the court brief on Friday, December 13, 2013 asking the D.C. Court of Appeals to reconsider a lower court's decision to block FilmOn's service.

(Link to the Brief: http://publicknowledge.org/filmon-amicus)

Citing the need of intellectual property laws to balance public and private interests, the brief focuses on the decision of the court to shut down the antenna rental portion of FilmOn's business without waiting for it to be tried in court. This kind of preliminary injunction is bad for innovation, it says, and "has implications that go far beyond" the specific service FilmOn offers.

In the brief, John Bergmeyer, Senior Staff Attorney at Public Knowledge explains why this preliminary injunction is unfair and important to the future of innovation: "Users lose access to services they might depend on, even if they are ultimately found to be perfectly legal, all because some clever lawyers figured out a way to short-circuit the justice system."

Bergmeyer added, "FilmOn works more like a private antenna than a cable TV service, and doesn't create a 'public performance' of any programming, which means it doesn't need a license. Just like you don't need a license to put an antenna on your roof to receive free broadcast TV, you don't need one to rent an antenna, either."

The brief supports the lawful position of FilmOn to provide consumers with free-to-air programming and as a result, the advocacy groups have lambasted the District Court for failing the public interest so badly.

"When district courts ignore Supreme Court precedent and issue hasty preliminary injunction rulings, bad things happen," said Bergmayer in the brief's conclusion. 

About FilmOn Networks:
Founded by Greek billionaire and media entrepreneur, Alki David, FilmOn is the world's leading free TV service and live TV app with 40 million downloads. FilmOn offers over 350 live TV channels including original programming, 600 video and audio podcasts from premium brands as well as over 45,000 video on demand titles at FilmOn.com and other destination sites online, including BattleCam.com. As of November 2013, FilmOn received 140 million unique users worldwide generating over 1 billion video streams. The service is available globally via computers, smartphones, tablets as well as the FilmOn App for iOS 7, Android and Windows 8 and IP-enabled set-top boxes and devices.

With offices in Beverly Hills and London and data-centers in Los Angeles, London, and Geneva, FilmOn curates the best of free televised entertainment from around the globe. For more information please visit FilmOn.com and connect with us on Twitter and Facebook. FilmOn.com Inc. was established in March 2009 by FilmOn.com Plc, a Berlin-listed public company (2FOA-BER) and is operated independently by a dedicated management team with offices in Los Angeles and London.

About Alki David:
FilmOn Founder and CEO, Alki David, is a serial internet entrepreneur and shipping magnate. Born in Nigeria, raised in Greece, London and Switzerland, he is listed as the 45th richest man in the United Kingdom by the London Times Magazine's "Rich List."

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