For many years we've pointed out that the self-promoting Alki David seems to get engaged in a variety of ridiculous lawsuits
partly as a publicity stunt to build up his own brand. Nearly everything he does seems to be focused on the publicity value of it -- such as renaming his online TV streaming service from FilmOn, as it was known, to AereoKiller and BarryDriller to mock Barry Diller's Aereo. And, unfortunately, in this case those stupid publicity stunts may lead to some really bad case law. As many people know, despite David claiming that his service (whatever name you want to call it) was no different than Aereo, it is
different. Aereo carefully followed various court rulings that indicated how to set up such a service that doesn't infringe -- and so far it's won
the lawsuits filed against it by the TV networks.
"AereoKiller," on the other hand, has been losing badly, such that the service is currently barred in most of the western US. Now the networks figure they might as well go in for the kill and have sued David's AereoKiller yet again
, this time in the DC Circuit, to try to get a similar ruling on the east coast. The networks could have sued Aereo itself -- as they've been threatening
-- but it seems clear they realize that the case against David is much stronger (perhaps, in part, because David himself seems like a goofball who doesn't take any of this seriously, but also because of the company's own actions).
But, of course, bad cases make bad law, and the AereoKiller case is a bad case. There are a bunch of issues related to the whole thing, and it seems quite likely David will lose -- but that precedent will now be available to be used against Aereo itself (and a variety of other innovative services). The end result could be a disaster, and the TV broadcasters know it, because that's exactly what they want.