I am not a lawyer. I don’t really know copyright law, but I did have a brief conversation with someone that has been in the business for 30 years with experience in the domestic and international broadcast environments and his narrowed and got all “squinty” when I spoke about all the channels rebroadcasting sports, movies and television shows on JTV and that it seemed that JTV content has turned to a medium for people to broadcast shows that are on their television to the viewers of Justin.tv. I can’t figure out what the allure is for the person broadcasting, but that’s neither here nor there tonight. I’m more interested in hearing what people out there in “the real world” think about this.
I repeated the statements we’ve heard from JTV principals when they are asked about these channels and when they choose to respond. “We don’t know what’s copyright and what’s not but if the content owner delivers a take down notice, we act immediately.” I’ve also heard, but not directly from Michael, “It’s ok as long as there is no network logo being broadcast.” When I cited these responses, I was met with an emphatic side to side shake of the head and a “No!”
Now, I don’t know if he knows any better than Michael or Justin or any of the JTV employees, but he’s got experience behind him and I am inclined to go with his assessment that at some point, this could get really ugly. We’ll see.
I’d like to know how people that pay for a Season Pass to watch Big Brother 24/7 feel about being able to watch it for free on JTV? I’m not a Big Brother fan, but my understanding is that you can pay for a Real.com Super Pass to watch anytime you wish. I’ve taken a look around and it looks like the subscription fee is $12.99/month. I don’t know if there is a special rate for those that just want a pass to watch Big Brother, nevertheless, people are paying something, and I don’t see a possibility for a requesting a refund.
Here’s how I see a possible scenario playing out:
- Suzie pays for a SuperPass. She hunkers down on the couch with a snack and a drink on the coffee table and powers up her computer. She’s comfortably watching the dysfunction, really getting into it, but feels the need to click around and see what else is going on in the live broadcasting world via the internet. So she opens another browser tab and heads over to Justin.tv. And what does she see? Something totally unexpected!!
- Suzie sits there staring at her monitor, perplexed. What’s going through her mind is a mix of jubilation that she’s found the show she’s so enamored with, but she can hear it in the other tab that’s running in her browser so she’s brought back to reality. She’s paying for one broadcast, yet watching it for free right next door on JTV.
- Without missing a beat, Suzie heads over to the RealNetworks site and looks around for the customer service site to see what she can find about obtaining a refund for the fees she’s paid and right there under the Customer Service link is a link for Premium Subscriptions for Big Brother 9, Real Broadband Essentials, an NFL Field Pass and more. Looking around, she sees nothing about refunds, but she does see that she can easily cancel her subscription. She’s not happy that there is nothing clear about refunds, but figures she’s just out of luck and has a decision to make and she heads back to JTV to assess the feed and the chat to determine if she wants to cancel her subscription. It’s a confusing decision, but I’m sure she chooses wisely.
For me, the confusion is this — the Real.com site notes that the 9th season of Big Brother begins on February 12, 2008, so I feel like I’m in a time warp — today IS June 17th, isn’t it?
Oh well, it’s not important. It’s not like I am planning to watch Big Brother on any broadcast vehicle. It’s just one of those things I ponder while sitting around surfing the channel bar.
Filed under: Entertainment, Technology | Tagged: Big Brother, Broadcast, Copyright, Copyright infringement, Illegal, JTV, Justin.tv, Justopia.com, Lifecast, Real.com, RealNetworks, Soccer, Sports, UEFA |