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Arnold & Porter Wins Second Injunction Against Internet Retransmission Service

September 17, 2013

Arnold & Porter recently secured a preliminary injunction, on behalf of firm clients American Broadcasting Companies, CBS Broadcasting, NBCUniversal, Gannett and Allbritton Communications, in a highly-watched copyright infringement case. The United States District Court for the District of Columbia enjoined FilmOnX from streaming broadcast television programming over the Internet and to mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets. In doing so, the D.C. court rejected FilmOnX's claim that it does not need copyright licenses because it employs thousands of dime-size antennas assigned to individual subscribers.

The firm previously obtained a preliminary injunction against the same service from a Los Angeles federal court, which limited the injunction to the Western states. That decision is currently on appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. The D.C. court agreed with the interpretation of the copyright laws advanced by the firm in the California litigation and specifically rejected a contrary interpretation that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit adopted in another case. The D.C. court enjoined the infringing FilmOnX service throughout the United States except in the Second Circuit.

On September 12, The American Lawyer Litigation Daily named Arnold & Porter partner Robert Garrett and Jenner & Block partner Paul Smith (who represents FOX) as "Litigators of the Week" for their work in the FilmOnX litigation. Other Arnold & Porter attorneys involved in that litigation are Los Angeles partners John Ulin and Jim Blackburn and associates Scott Morrow, Murad Hussain and Eric Mason.

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