Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Ontario court sides with Bell in dispute over VMedia streaming service

The Globe and Mail's media reporter James Bradshaw writes:
"An Ontario court has barred upstart television provider VMedia Inc. from streaming a basic set of live TV channels online, but left the door open for the federal broadcast regulator to decide otherwise.
"VMedia, a Toronto-based startup, launched an app in September that offers a package of basic channels delivered through the Roku media player, instead of a traditional cable box.
"The service was advertised as a new, low-cost way for viewers to get channels such as CTV, CBC or Omni.
"But Bell Media, a division of communications giant BCE Inc. that owns the CTV networks, took issue with the app, arguing it was “a clear copyright violation” and should be shut down. VMedia refused, insisting it was allowed to retransmit the over-the-air signals free of charge under the Copyright Act.
"Both sides asked the courts to decide the matter, which could have wider implications for broadcasting technology at a time when increasing numbers of viewers are ditching traditional TV in favour of online services such as Netflix and CraveTV."

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