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FilmOn X Wants Time During Aereo Supreme Court Hearing

In a motion to intervene, Alki David's company says that it will be impacted by the high court's ruling, but that the streaming service has an "incentive" not to represent its interest.

Alki David wants to muscle in on the upcoming battle between TV broadcasters and Aereo at the U.S. Supreme Court. This week, the billionaire’s FilmOn X is filing a motion to intervene in American Broadcasting Companies et. al v. Aereo.

FilmOn X is like Aereo to the extent they are both provide over-the-air television content to digital devices. There’s a difference of opinions, though, on the exact similarity of the respective technology.

But the biggest degree of separation between the two companies is track record.

Aereo has successfully fought off an injunction at a New York district court and the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals. Broadcasters petitioned and were granted review by the Supreme Court on the question of whether Aereo’s service constitutes an unlicensed public performance under copyright law.

Meanwhile, David’s streaming technologies have been enjoined by judges in California and the District of Columbia. FilmOn hasn’t enjoyed the benefit of a judge determining that its service makes private use of copyrighted television.

So now FilmOn wants to be heard by the nine justices too. According to its petition, obtained by THR:

“Although FilmOn X and Aereo have a common interest in this Court protecting an individual’s right of private performance, FilmOn X is uniquely situated,” says a motion to intervene. “It has been enjoined from offering its consumers access to Network content across most of the United States. Aereo is not subject to the injunctions issued against FilmOn X, which has suffered significant harm as a result of the enjoinment. Aereo has an incentive to leave injunctions against its primary competitor intact and may not adequately represent FilmOn X’s interest before this Court.”

E-mail: Eriq.Gardner@THR.com
Twitter: @eriqgardner