Jan 21, 2011

ivi TV loses first round in battle over TV signals – including public broadcasters'

A district court judge in Seattle has refused to grant a declaratory ruling that ivi TV's service does not violate broadcast copyright protection, Broadcasting & Cable is reporting. The suit, filed in September, was a “a preemptive move to discourage needless litigation from big media," according to ivi founder and c.e.o. Todd Weaver  (Current, Oct. 4, 2010). Soon after that suit was filed, PBS,, WGBH and 22 other plaintiffs asked the U.S. District Court in New York to keep ivi from selling their TV signals online. That action is still pending.

The Seattle-based ivi captures and encrypts TV stations’ signals and distributes them through a web app to subscribers who pay it $4.99 a month. The company says it’s following the same law that allows cable systems to retransmit broadcast signals and pay a negotiated rights fee. Rights owners will be compensated via the Licensing Division of the U.S. Copyright Office after they file a payment request, ivi maintains.

KLRN launches new public affairs program

KLRN in San Antonio premiered Texas Week With Rick Casey on Thursday (Jan. 20). Casey, a longtime columnist with the local News-Express as well as the Houston Chronicle, said the public affairs show will offer “a quieter discussion about important issues.” The show's blog provides a look behind the scenes as the program was developed.

University of Houston to merge its PBS and NPR member stations

The University of Houston is merging its HoustonPBS/Channel 8 with its NPR station KUHF-FM/88.7 into one organization called Houston Public Media. The city's CultureMap arts news website is reporting that TV and radio staffers were told in a meeting Thursday (Jan. 20).