Video streaming company FilmOn won a surprising victory in federal District Court this month in a case in which Dr. Sigurd Meldal, a computer scientist at Quandary Peak Research, provided expert witness testimony related to FilmOn’s video streaming servers. Other Quandary Peak consultants were also retained through FilmOn’s counsel, Baker Marquart LLP, to provide technical analysis of source code and databases. The consolidated case, Fox Television Stations, Inc. v. FilmOn X, LLC and NBCUniversal Media, LLC v. FilmOn X, LLC, isn’t over, however, as the plaintiffs have vowed to appeal.
The court’s decision establishes that FilmOn is entitled to license to over-the-air broadcast content as a cable company. U.S. District Court Judge George W. Wu ruled that if FilmOn meets certain requirements, it has a right to a compulsory license of broadcast content under Section 111 of the Copyright Act. In arriving at his conclusions, Judge Wu considered whether and how FilmOn operates a system that receives video signals, reformats those signals, and distributes them to users.