by Mike Masnick
Fri, Apr 5th 2013 2:33pm
by Mike Masnick
Mon, Apr 1st 2013 10:56am
from the a-good-win dept
Today, on appeal, the appeals court affirmed the district court ruling, once again blowing a big hole in the networks' arguments. The full ruling (linked above and embedded below) is well worth a read, as it's nice to see the court really try to do its best to truly understand the technology at play, rather than resorting to simplistic and inaccurate analogies, as copyright maximalists often desire. The key to the networks' argument here is that those individual antennas that Aereo sets up are a myth. They claim that it's really one giant antenna. The court disagrees. This issue plays into the big question of whether or not Aereo's service is functionally the same as the (legal) Cablevision remote DVR system, or if it goes too far and is a tool for infringement. The distinguishing factor in that Cablevision case was that Cablevision made a unique copy for every user who requested it (again, stupid and inefficient from a technological standpoint, but this is the life we lead under bad copyright laws). Bizarrely, even Cablevision argued against Aereo here, trying to distinguish its own case (perhaps to handicap a potential competitor).
The court, thankfully, doesn't buy Cablevision's own wacky interpretation, but rather relies on what the court in is case actually said, mainly, that having a unique copy means that it's not doing a "public performance" of the work.
As discussed above, Cablevision’s holding that Cablevision’s transmissions of programs recorded with its RS-DVR system were not public performances rested on two essential facts. First, the RS-DVR system created unique copies of every program a Cablevision customer wished to record. Second, the RS-DVR’s transmission of the recorded program to a particular customer was generated from that unique copy; no other customer could view a transmission created by that copy. Given these two features, the potential audience of every RS-DVR transmission was only a single Cablevision subscriber, namely the subscriber who created the copy. And because the potential audience of the transmission was only one Cablevision subscriber, the transmission was not made “to the public.”The court rejects the networks' argument that Cablevision was different because Cablevision had a license for its initial transmission, noting that the case has nothing to do with transmission, but is solely based on the question of whether or not this is a public performance under the Copyright Act. As it notes, if there is no public performance, the license question is moot, as Aereo only needs such a license for the public performance.
The same two features are present in Aereo’s system. When an Aereo customer elects to watch or record a program using either the “Watch” or “Record” features, Aereo’s system creates a unique copy of that program on a portion of a hard drive assigned only to that Aereo user. And when an Aereo user chooses to watch the recorded program, whether (nearly) live or days after the program has aired, the transmission sent by Aereo and received by that user is generated from that unique copy. No other Aereo user can ever receive a transmission from that copy. Thus, just as in Cablevision, the potential audience of each Aereo transmission is the single user who requested that a program be recorded.
The court also responds nicely to the bizarre argument of the networks that because Aereo specifically designed its system to be legal within the confines of the Cablevision ruling, that proves it's infringing. As we noted at the time, this argument doesn't help the networks at all. After all, the courts found Cablevision legal, so it makes sense that Aereo would design with that in mind for the purpose of staying on the right side of the law. The networks' basic argument is, directly, that if you try hard to stay within the law, you must be breaking the law. That's crazy, and the court, rightly, rejects it:
Plaintiffs also make much of the undisputed fact that Aereo’s system was designed around the Cablevision holding, because it creates essentially identical copies of the same program for every user who wishes to watch it in order to avoid copyright liability, instead of using a perhaps more efficient design employing shared copies. However, that Aereo was able to design a system based on Cablevision’s holding to provide its users with nearly live television over the internet is an argument that Cablevision was wrongly decided; it does not provide a basis for distinguishing Cablevision. Moreover, Aereo is not the first to design systems to avoid copyright liability. The same is likely true of Cablevision, which created separate user associated copies of each recorded program for its RS-DVR system instead of using more efficient shared copies because transmissions generated from the latter would likely be found to infringe copyright holders’ public performance right under the rationale of Redd Horne.... Nor is Aereo alone in designing its system around Cablevision, as many cloud computing services, such as internet music lockers, discussed further below, appear to have done the same...In other words, no, designing your system in accordance with the law doesn't mean you're trying to violate the law. As the court later notes, it appears that the networks really want to overrule Cablevision, which is made clear by their claims that Aereo designing within the confines of Cablevision must be infringing. The court notes that even if that's what the networks want, barring a Supreme Court decision in the alternative, they can't change their earlier ruling.
Though presented as efforts to distinguish Cablevision, many of Plaintiffs’ arguments really urge us to overrule Cablevision. One panel of this Court, however, “cannot overrule a prior decision of another panel.” ... We are “bound by the decisions of prior panels until such time as they are overruled either by an en banc panel of our Court or by the Supreme Court.” ... There is an exception when an intervening Supreme Court decision “casts doubt on our controlling precedent,” ... but we are unaware of any such decisions that implicate Cablevision.There is a dissent from Judge Denny Chin, who argues that because Aereo had to go through the technologically inefficient process it does, that shows why it's infringing.
Aereo's "technology platform" is, however, a sham. The system employs thousands of individual dime-sized antennas, but there is no technologically sound reason to use a multitude of tiny individual antennas rather than one central antenna; indeed, the system is a Rube Goldberg-like contrivance, over-engineered in an attempt to avoid the reach of the Copyright Act and to take advantage of a perceived loophole in the law.That argument is really troubling, and it's good that the majority overruled it. If that were true, any inefficient or convoluted process required by the law to remain consistent with copyright law would be seen as evidence of infringement. And that's just wacky. You'd effectively create veto power for any new innovation that way.
Anyway, the case is far from over, but so far Aereo is 2 for 2 and the networks have come up empty. Let's hope that trend continues.
by Mike Masnick
Wed, Mar 27th 2013 12:27pm
Arrested Development Documentary Has To Hit Up Kickstarter Because Fox Claims Copyright On Set Photos
from the wtf dept
And, now, there's an even crazier example. Two huge fans of the cult favorite TV show, Arrested Development have made a documentary about the show, talking to a ton of people who created and acted in the show, as well as to a bunch of fans. Given that a new season (via Netflix) is quickly approaching, getting this documentary out would make sense. The film is finished according to the filmmakers. Done done done. So why are they asking Kickstarter for $20,053? Yup, you guessed it. Copyright licensing issues. And this time, it's really crazy:
After five years, we're finally close to releasing the documentary. Our final step is to pay the network for photos from the set of the show. These photos are extremely relevant to the story, and we can't move forward with the release of the documentary until our fees are paid to the network. This is where you come in. Help us pay the network fees so every Arrested fan can see this documentary!Yes, photos from the set. And, "the network" in this case is 20th Century Fox. This seemed so ridiculous to me that I asked the filmmakers, Jeff Smith & Neil Lieberman, for the details, and they said that these are photos taken by a variety of people on set and that the people who took the photos gave them to Jeff & Neil willingly, but that "the network is claiming copyright." Just to be clear, Jeff & Neil don't have a problem with this, saying that they believe that this is "within the network's rights" to make that claim and they emphasized that Fox was giving them a "deep discount on the photos" and that it "could have been much worse" otherwise.
While it's great that the filmmakers are fine with this, it still seems quite troubling to me. Whoever took the photos in the first place would own the copyright on the basic photos themselves. This implies that Fox is claiming copyright on the set itself, which appears in the images (or, they're lying and claiming copyright on something they have no copyright on). And, yes, they could potentially claim copyright on the set -- but that doesn't make this any less crazy. Jeff & Neil would have a massively clear fair use argument if they were challenged on using these images. It is not as if the use of those images would somehow harm the "market" for "the set" itself (which is about all the network could possibly be claiming copyright on). It would obviously be a transformative use, and they'd just be displaying parts of the set. This is about as open and shut a fair use case as you could possibly imagine.
And, really, this is doubly ridiculous, because this documentary is only going to help promote the show more, not harm it in any way... oh wait. Fox no longer benefits from that because Fox cancelled the show and the new season is happening on Netflix instead... Perhaps that's what this is about. The cash from this Kickstarter could have gone into all sorts of actually useful things, including more marketing and promotions for the documentary (which does look great). But, instead, it's going into Fox's bank account, because Rupert Murdoch needs it more than two independent documentary filmmakers who were huge fans of the show. I thought copyright was supposed to be about helping filmmakers, not forcing them to waste $20,000+ dollars on a bogus copyright claim..
by Mike Masnick
Tue, Feb 26th 2013 9:12am
from the over-and-over-and-over-again dept
I'm reminded of this thanks to News Corp. (via Fox) filing for a new injunction against Dish Networks for the latest version of its DVR, the Dish Hopper with Sling. Now, you may recall that Fox already tried to get an injunction against Dish's Hopper with Sling and lost pretty badly (even as it pretended that it had won). Fox is appealing that decision, but also filed a new request for an injunction against the updated device, claiming that the key new feature, Hopper Transfers, goes beyond anything else and (once again), must be stopped.
This is the same old story over and over again. The last century plus of copyright law has been driven by the entertainment industry flipping out time and time again over new innovations that they don't think should be allowed. The 1909 Copyright Act was driven, in large part, by the introduction of the evil player piano, leading many to insist that this would kill the demand for live music and put musicians out of work.
Around that time, there was also the invention of the gramophone, or, as John Philip Sousa called it, "that infernal machine." He famously claimed, "these talking machines are going to ruin the artistic development of music in this country," and that "we will not have a vocal cord left," because evolution will deem them not necessary due to "talking machines."
Then along came radio, and it too, was destined to wipe out the industry, with ASCAP demanding that any song that was to be played on the radio first needed to (a) get permission from the rights holder and (b) have the DJ state clearly before each song that it was being played "by special permission" from the rightsholder. When people started mocking that phrase (and someone even wrote a song about it), ASCAP stated that the permission line had to be spoken by DJs with "no facetious trifling."
Moving on, along came cable TV to add some competition to the TV market. And what happened? Lawsuits of course. "It would be difficult to imagine a more flagrant violation of the Copyright Act," we were told.
And you may have heard what happened when the original VCR was invented. Why the MPAA's Jack Valenti had a thing or two to say about that:
I say to you that the VCR is to the American film producer and the American public as the Boston strangler is to the woman home alone.Cassette recorder? "Home taping is killing music."
DVR? Must be illegal. According to the head of Turner Broadcasting: "People who watch TV without commercials are stealing from the entertainment producers."
How about the first real MP3 player, the Diamond Rio? Lawsuit filed in which it was stated that allowing the device, "will injure not only the record companies and artists whose work will be pirated, but also the music publishers, musicians, background singers, songwriters and others whose existence is dependent on revenue earned by record sales."
YouTube? Viacom's lawsuit is still ongoing, but Viacom insisted that, if allowed, YouTube would "severely impair, if not completely destroy, the value of many copyrighted creations."
And lets not even get into all of the technologies that the entertainment industry has been shutting down over the past few years. Zediva? Dead. ivi? Gone. Aereo? Still here, but fighting. Veoh? Dead (even though it won its lawsuit). MP3Tunes? Bankrupt due to lawsuit (even though it won too). There are many more as well.
See a pattern yet? This pattern repeats over and over and over and over again. The entertainment industry, aided by the Copyright Office, seems to think that there's some sort of role it has to play in giving the yay or nay vote to any new technological innovation that concerns content consumption. And, of course, the vote is always "nay." In the long run, that always turns out to be the wrong vote. So why do we constantly allow the entertainment industry to get away with this nonsense? This filing from Fox is merely the latest in a very long line of these kinds of actions, and it should be immensely troubling to those who recognize that the best way for the entertainment industry itself to thrive in the modern world is to embrace these new services, which increase value to consumers and make them more interested in watching/listening to the content being produced.
You would think that, after a century of these examples, those in the entertainment industry might finally realize that looking for the opportunities in these innovations is a more productive strategy than trying to kill every new technology. Apparently, however, the industry is still run by people who have no sense of history, other than the history of always ratcheting up copyright enforcement.
by Mike Masnick
Fri, Feb 1st 2013 11:47am
from the why-not-just-give-credit? dept
You can see the original below:
The Scissor Sisters, after receiving a sizable sum from Fox and Spirit Music for the rights to their song, paid Landers just as they had promised during that handshake.What's interesting is that what upset Landers (and Coulton) was something that actually had little to do with copyright at all. Both were most perturbed by the lack of credit from Fox:
From the moment Landers saw the Tweet about "Kiki" on Glee, he has pursued one thing: credit.... Since, Landers has only pursued two things from Glee: confirmation that his choreography was being used in the November 29th episode, and some kind of documentation that stated his work was his work.All of this raises a big question: why are Fox and Glee so averse to giving credit? It's been discussed many times before that credit or attribution is often much more important to artists than copyright itself. In fact, a recent study showed very strong evidence that credit has significant value to artists, often outweighing the value of any copyright claim.
So why doesn't Fox provide such credit?
It's free to do so. It basically costs them nothing, other than to add the names to the flashing credits at the end that nobody reads, or (better yet) in online notes to the show, which perhaps people will read. I've never understood why people are stingy with credit in such situations. Some suspect that (ironically) it may be copyright law itself that makes companies stingy with credit, since it opens up at least the potential of further legal ramifications. For example, if it's later found that a use is infringing, they can make a stronger argument that its "willful," potentially tripling any damages award. In other cases, it may just be general stinginess, and a feeling that the original creators don't deserve the credit, or that the people on the show would greedily prefer that they get the credit for such "creative" interpretations.
In the end, though, it seems like it would be a nice and neighborly thing to do to provide credit where possible, even if not legally required, and even if Fox wants to claim fair use. It would seem likely that such a simple free move would actually lead to much greater appreciation and support, rather than anger towards the show and its producers.
by Mike Masnick
Wed, Jan 30th 2013 9:38am
from the how-messed-up-is-our-system dept
Allow me to explain. When the whole thing first broke, we thought that Coulton took the right approach in basically just telling his fans about it. Then, when we heard that he was exploring legal issues with his lawyers, that actually seemed like the wrong approach to take, even if he was upset about things. According to various reports, right before the show aired, Fox finally reached out to him and explained that what they did was perfectly legal (probably true) and that Coulton should be happy for the exposure. Coulton's response was quite reasonable -- asking if that meant Fox would be crediting him. Since the answer was no, the promise of exposure rings a bit hollow.
That said, it's not entirely hollow -- because of Coulton's ability to whip up (completely reasonable) righteous indignation about this from his fans via social media. As he told Mashable in the link above:
"They were right. I did get exposure, but it didn't come from anything they did. It was sympathetic outrage on Twitter, and bloggers and journalists talking about how crazy it was."And, of course, he's taken it a step further as well, re-releasing his original song on iTunes, but calling it Baby Got Back (In the Style of Glee) and promising to donate the proceeds to two charities associated with Glee: The VH1 Save the Music Foundation and the It Gets Better Project. Song sales are doing well, with Coulton's version climbing the charts, while the official Glee version of the song is riddled with one star reviews from his supportive fans (even though he's not encouraging people to do this) and is nowhere to be found on the charts.
[....] "Sometimes I forget that Twitter is something beyond just being snarky at the Oscars. All of a sudden something happens and you remember that this is an amazing, powerful tool." Coulton says. "My fans have a keen sense of justice, and this idea that we should be attributed for our work. People who are of the Internet realize that attribution is what we trade on."
Still, what strikes me as perhaps most interesting about all of this is that as you explore the legal issues, it is entirely possible to come out with an argument that says that if anyone is infringing on copyright here... it's Jonathan Coulton. Let me be clear on this: I am not saying that anyone has directly accused him of this, nor am I suggesting (in any way) that he should be accused of this. I'm just showing how misaligned the law is with what most people think of as a sensible regime today. So why might Coulton be in trouble? As he's noted repeatedly, he paid the compulsory license to cover the song via the Harry Fox Agency. Doing so means that he agreed (pdf) to abide by Section 115 of the Copyright Act.
What's that? Well, check it out here. Here's the relevant part for our discussion:
A compulsory license includes the privilege of making a musical arrangement of the work to the extent necessary to conform it to the style or manner of interpretation of the performance involved, but the arrangement shall not change the basic melody or fundamental character of the work, and shall not be subject to protection as a derivative work under this title, except with the express consent of the copyright owner.Previously, we and many others had suggested that the changes that what Coulton had made could possibly be protected as unique creative works. However, he more or less gave up that claim when he used the statutory license, rather than doing a direct deal with Sir Mix A Lot, or whoever else holds the rights on the song. That also means, however, that Coulton did not live up to Section 115 and his cover, in all likelihood, violates the original copyrights, because the license he got does not cover the very different arrangement and melody he created.
That is, by any normal measure, insane. But that's the law. This whole situation has (ridiculously) exposed Jonathan Coulton as a "pirate" and Fox as being perfectly within the law. And that just seems silly.
by Mike Masnick
Fri, Jan 18th 2013 6:31pm
from the social-mores dept
As some have noted, Coulton has called out Fox for apparently copying his arrangement of Sir Mix-a-Lot's "Baby Got Back" in the TV show Glee. You can see his version here:
In the end, though, almost none of that probably matters. Because Coulton seems unlikely (we hope) to go legal here. Instead, he's just going with the public shame route -- with a simple tweet about the situation, which has set off "the internet" to help him make his case and embarrass Fox and Glee.
Internet sleuths immediately went to work on the question, creating side-by-side comparisons of the audio (which are very convincing) and even unearthing an official Fox version of the as-yet-unreleased single in the Swedish iTunes store. While the track is not currently available in the American store, gaming blog Kotaku claims that it “was available earlier and was pulled by Fox.” Despite calls from Twitter and multiple media organizations, the network has yet to make a statement as of this afternoon, but, all things considered, it’s looking pretty bad for Glee.Of course, as a public storm of support rises behind Coulton, it seems likely that Fox/Glee producers will step up, apologize and probably cut Coulton a check of some sort. All of that seems a lot more efficient -- and it didn't require copyright law at all. Just a bit of public shaming for a bad actor. Of course, just imagine if the situation had been reversed, and Coulton was caught making use of a News Corp.-owned song. In that case, you'd have to imagine that the cease and desist letters and lawyers would have popped up quite quickly....
by Mike Masnick
Tue, Dec 4th 2012 1:02pm
from the but-of-course dept
Then there's 20th Century Fox trying to protect Family Guy... by issuing a takedown of the Wikipedia page about the show. Even worse? Another takedown for the show How I Met Your Mother, in which the "original work URL" listed is the CBS website for the show (which makes sense), but that very same URL is listed for takedown
While these may be amusing to point out, they raise a much larger issue. Copyright holders like to insist that companies like Google and others can just "obviously" tell what is and what is not infringing and they should be able to magically stop piracy because of that. And yet... here we are, where the studios themselves can't even figure it out. How the hell do they expect others to figure it out for them?
by Mike Masnick
Tue, Nov 13th 2012 12:27pm
from the just-the-qa-copy? dept
Fox is definitely the loser here. In fact, it looks like our original statements about the case, when it was first filed, turned out to be accurate. Fox's claims that recording the entire prime time lineup is a "bootleg" copy was a direct challenge to the ruling in the Betamax case, and the judge here relied heavily on that ruling in rejecting Fox's arguments. Furthermore, in our original analysis, we pointed out that the ruling about Cablevision's remote DVR should apply here as well, since the key issue there was who pressed the button -- and with "Prime Time Any Time" (PTAT) and the Autohopper technology, it's still the consumer doing it. The court is having none of that:
Here, the parties agree that the Hopper is only available to private consumers and the evidence does not suggest that consumers use the PTAT copies for anything other than time-shifting in their homes or on mobile devices. In fact, Fox has identified no specific theory under which individual PTAT users could themselves be liable for copyright infringement without circumventing Sony. In the absence of any evidence of such direct infringement on the part of PTAT users, Dish cannot be responsible for "intentionally inducing or encouraging direct infringement," or for "profiting from direct infringement while declining to exercise a right to stop or limit it." Grokster, 545 U.S. at 930. In Grokster, unlike this case, owners of a peer-to-peer file-sharing program were liable for derivative copyright infringement because they knowingly and intentionally induced users to copy and distribute copyrighted works over the network, which indisputably constituted infringement on the part of the users. Id. at 939-41. Here, the record is devoid of any facts suggesting direct infringement by PTAT users. Fox has therefore failed to establish a likelihood of success or to raise serious questions on the merits of its derivative infringement claims.Shorter version: no, Fox can't do an end-run around the ruling that made it clear that the VCR was legal. Users here aren't really doing anything different (time shifting programming) as was found legal in the Sony Betamax case. Basically, it's a reminder that basic time shifting isn't infringement. Since nothing the end-user does is infringing here, it completely demolishes Fox's ridiculous theory that DISH is "inducing" infringement by removing commercials. All in all a good finding.
So how is it that Fox claimed victory? It's something of a minor side issue, and I'm not even convinced the court got this one right either. Basically, as part of the process of making sure that its Autohopper (commercial skipping) feature is working properly, DISH also records the prime time lineup itself and has people monitoring to see if the automated Autohopper is correctly finding the beginnings and endings of commercial breaks. If the machine is messing up, the human monitor can try to "correct" the timing. It's a "quality assurance" effort. And it's that copy that the court says might be infringing (and potentially a violation of the contract between the two parties). Leaving aside the contract issue, even the copyright claim here seems questionable. The key case here is the Sega v. Accolade case in which the court said that a copy made in process -- an "intermediate" copy -- which was not actually used in the final product, could be protected by fair use.
The court then does a four factor fair use analysis though, as with most fair use analyses, how you apply the factors can lead you to a very different conclusion. The key one here is the final factor -- the "effect of the use on the market." The court finds this one to favor Fox:
Here, the QA copies are used to perfect the functioning of AutoHop, a service that, standing alone, does not infringe. The record shows, however, that a market exists for the right to copy and use the Fox Programs: Fox licenses copies of its programs to companies including Hulu, Netflix, iTunes, and Amazon to offer viewers the Fox Programs in various formats. .... In fact, the record suggests that Dish chose to offer AutoHop to its subscribers in order to compete with other providers who pay for the rights to use copies of the Fox Programs through licensing agreements. Unlike these providers, however, Dish does not pay for the right to copy the Fox Programs for any purpose. By making an unauthorized copy for which it has not paid and using it for AutoHop, Dish harms Fox's opportunity to negotiate a value for those copies and also inhibits Fox's ability to enter into similar licensing agreements with others in the future by making the copies less valuable. Therefore, the Court finds that the fourth factor also militates against finding that the QA copies constitute a "fair use" under the Copyright Act.I don't quite get this analysis though. Because, remember, we're just talking about the QA copies here, not the final product that consumers use. So I don't actually see how the above applies. Those QA copies aren't being used to compete against Hulu, Netflix, iTunes or Amazon. And I don't see how anyone could conclude that Fox would license special QA copies only for DISH to see how its ad skipper is working. So the analysis here just seems off. If the court has already decided that the final product isn't infringing, how is it that this temporary copy -- used only to check on quality control of the ad skipping -- which itself is not infringing -- suddenly becomes infringing. It seems like DISH could make a strong argument on appeal that this part of the ruling doesn't make much sense.
by Mike Masnick
Thu, Nov 8th 2012 5:23am
Judge Rejects Fox's Attempt To Shut Down Dish's Autohop Feature, But Indicates It May Still Infringe
from the innovation-killers dept
The latest news is that Fox has lost in its attempt to get an injunction, meaning that the service will live on as the trial continues. The filing is sealed for now, as apparently there are some trade secret details that need to be redacted. However, both sides are trying to claim victory -- with Fox saying that the order does indicate that the feature is copyright infringement:
"As reported, the court denied Fox's request for a preliminary injunction. But we are gratified the court found the copies DISH makes for its AutoHop service constitute copyright infringement and breach the parties' contract. We are disappointed the court erred in finding that Fox's damages were not suitable for a preliminary injunction. We intend to appeal that portion of the court's decision, as well as the court's separate findings concerning the PrimeTime Anytime service. DISH is marketing and benefitting from an unauthorized VOD service that illegally copies Fox's valuable programming."That sounds bizarre -- as it suggests that the court still thinks that a service to skip commercials could be infringing -- but we understand that's not the case at all. The ruling is very, very specific and only narrowly found infringement in one small, minor aspect of what was happening. And, the fact that there's no injunction is actually pretty damning for Fox. It shows that the court doesn't believe the "harm," if there is any, is so bad that it can't be dealt with eventually through monetary awards, rather than shutting down the service. It still seems ridiculous that building a useful service that provides features that people want -- which involves things that individuals can do on their own -- is somehow infringing. Dish's own statement suggests that this ruling is mostly a win -- and the "loss" is minor, since it appears the key aspects of its service were not found to be infringing.
"Today's ruling is a victory for common sense and customer choice. DISH is gratified that the Court has sided with consumer choice and control by rejecting Fox's efforts to deny our customers access to PrimeTime Anytime and AutoHop -- key features of the Hopper Whole-Home DVR. The ruling underscores the U.S. Supreme Court's ‘Betamax’ decision, with the court confirming a consumer's right to enjoy television as they want, when they want, including the reasonable right to skip commercials, if they so choose."We'll have more once the redacted ruling is unsealed, but from what we've heard, Fox lost bigtime here. Still, just the fact that this is even being fought out in court should be an indication of the ridiculousness of copyright law today, in which companies aren't allowed to innovate without Hollywood (or the courts) having to first give approval.