WPIX, Inc. v. IVI, Inc., No. 11-788 (2d Cir. 2012)Annotate this Case
Plaintiffs, producers and owners of copyrighted television programming, sued defendants for streaming plaintiffs' copyrighted television programming over the Internet live and without their consent. The court, applying Chevron analysis, held that: (1) the statutory text was ambiguous as to whether defendant, a service that retransmitted television programming over the Internet, was entitled to a compulsory license under section 111 of the Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. 111; (2) the statute's legislative history, development, and purpose indicated that Congress did not intend for section 111 licenses to extend to Internet retransmissions; (3) the Copyright Office's interpretation of section 111 - that Internet retransmissions services did not constitute cable systems under section 111 - aligned with Congress' intent and was reasonable; and (4) accordingly, the district court did not abuse its discretion in finding that plaintiffs were likely to succeed on the merits of the case. The court also concluded that the district court did not abuse its discretion in finding irreparable harm; in balancing the hardships; and considering the public interest.