FilmOn may have been handed a temporary restraining order preventing it from re-streaming four U.S. TV networks, but the service’s billionaire founder is retaliating with a public internet tirade against one of the plaintiffs.
In webcam videos posted to YouTube (NSDQ: GOOG) as “CBSYouSuck“, Alki David says: “CBS (NYSE: CBS), through its subsidiary CNET, has distributed over one billion pirate illegal file sharing softwares, as well as DRM cracking softwares…”
CBS-owned CNET makes software available through its Download.com site, either via hosted download or via off-site link. “Even the editors’ notes tell you what to do and how good that software is,” says David, suggesting hypocrisy.
Whilst Download.com makes available many P2P and Bit Torrent applications, neither protocol is in itself illegal, and Download.com has, for example, delisted the Limewire application, whose maker received its own court order barring distribution.
FilmOn has not actually stated whether it will appeal the order in court. The online videos from David – a Hollywood actor, producer and webcam exhibitionist – won’t affect the order, though his point is effectively made…
“Guess what, Mr CBS, we’re not going anywhere, we’re going to fight you, we’re going to show exactly the way things are and how to do it right. Dunne, Moonves, Redstone – the lot of you are a bunch of hypocritical, thieving liars – you have single-handedly destroyed the entertainment business in the twenty-first century.”
FilmOn’s lawyer in the case has withdrawn from representing the service, saying: “I have an irreconcilable conflict with Alki David,” according to court documents. The judge is now waiting for FilmOn to appoint a new counsel, lest it risk her making a default order against it, and to inform her whether it will again oppose the TV networks in court.
FilmOn did announce some supposedly legal business last week – a deal with a small cable company, FTTH Communications, allowing its 1,200 customers in the Tri-State and Minnesota areas to watch their cable network TV channels over web and mobile. It involves FilmOn taking a share of FTTH’s customer fee for this screen-shifting service.
This HD video distribution business, which doesn’t get mentioned much in FilmOn write-ups, may be the most promising legal business avenue for the company. The recent furore over TV restreaming may turn out to have been just a technology proof-of-concept that could win FilmOn actual partners in the online content distribution market.