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Old 05-06-2014, 12:11 AM   #241
lessd
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If the law says what the law says, then that's what it says. Not what someone might have meant it to say. Computers aren't that sophisticated yet. And what the law says is that Aereo is legal in the United States.
What Obama did with the ADA act must drive you nuts if you feel the law is the law, it not and never has been, it only a suggestion until the court (or our President) gets involved. Lawyers earn their living giving their option as to what the law means and what they think you can do, it works unless challenged in court and the lawyers don't win.
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Old 05-06-2014, 02:35 AM   #242
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However, the court either follows the existing law, as written, and Aereo wins, or they in effect legislate from the bench and bow to the corporate interests, and the networks win.
That's nothing but claptrap. "If it doesn't go my way, someone did something wrong." Ridiculous. It's no different from blind dogma. Reasonable people have already explained to you how either side could win on the merits.
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Old 05-06-2014, 09:50 AM   #243
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plane English
As opposed to, say, English used on a bus or train?

*ducking*
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Old 05-06-2014, 09:54 AM   #244
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...If the law says what the law says, then that's what it says. Not what someone might have meant it to say. Computers aren't that sophisticated yet. And what the law says is that Aereo is legal in the United States.
That's so naive I don't know whether to laugh or cry. Obviously, you have no understanding of what the law represents or how it works. The law is recorded in words, and practically every word in the English language has multiple meanings. Therefore, laws need to be interpreted.

As to computer sophistication, your view of the law doesn't require sophistication. According to you the law is a series a checkboxes - you either follow the letter of the law or you have broken the law. It seems that your view of the law requires nothing more sophisticated than a series of logic gates.
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Old 05-06-2014, 12:19 PM   #245
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That's so naive I don't know whether to laugh or cry. Obviously, you have no understanding of what the law represents or how it works. The law is recorded in words, and practically every word in the English language has multiple meanings. Therefore, laws need to be interpreted.
Precisely. In addition, laws are worded to reflect what is understood to be the matters of contention at the time the laws are written. Lawmakers don't have crystal balls so that they can be sure to word every law so that it is clear and definitive with regard to every context of every aspect of society far in the future. The judiciary is an equal partner in our society, along with the executive branch and the legislative branch, because of critical their role is. If it was a simple matter of lexicographical analysis, it would be an administrative role of the executive branch, instead of a peer.
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Old 05-06-2014, 07:20 PM   #246
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That's so naive I don't know whether to laugh or cry. Obviously, you have no understanding of what the law represents or how it works. The law is recorded in words, and practically every word in the English language has multiple meanings. Therefore, laws need to be interpreted.

As to computer sophistication, your view of the law doesn't require sophistication. According to you the law is a series a checkboxes - you either follow the letter of the law or you have broken the law. It seems that your view of the law requires nothing more sophisticated than a series of logic gates.
Interpreted, not just BS'ed. It's very clear what the law currently says in regards to Aereo. Comprehending English can be done to a certain extent with a computer, but not totally.
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Old 05-07-2014, 12:42 AM   #247
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Interpreted, not just BS'ed. It's very clear what the law currently says in regards to Aereo. Comprehending English can be done to a certain extent with a computer, but not totally.
You don't seem to understand our justice system, no matter how clear the law is (or you think it is) it can be changed by the courts, or in some cases the President of the country, just look at the ACA law and how much the SC and the President changed the law because it made sense to them to make such changes.
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Old 05-07-2014, 06:07 AM   #248
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Please stop with the ACA political asides, this is not the place for it.
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Old 05-07-2014, 09:22 AM   #249
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Interpreted, not just BS'ed. It's very clear what the law currently says in regards to Aereo. Comprehending English can be done to a certain extent with a computer, but not totally.
So now it is clear you don't understand how computers work, as well as not understanding how the legal system works.
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Old 05-07-2014, 09:32 AM   #250
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Please stop with the ACA political asides, this is not the place for it.
I don't care about the ACA itself (I am over 65) only that it is well known law and shows an example of the fungibility a law as written can be subject to.
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Old 05-07-2014, 12:19 PM   #251
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Interpreted, not just BS'ed. It's very clear what the law currently says in regards to Aereo. Comprehending English can be done to a certain extent with a computer, but not totally.
Alright, point to the exact section in copyright law that specifically allows Aereo to do what they are doing.
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Old 05-07-2014, 12:27 PM   #252
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Alright, point to the exact section in copyright law that specifically allows Aereo to do what they are doing.
I would assume it is not about what section allows it but what section disallows what Aereo is doing. The pertinent sections seems to be 110 and 111 although both are open to interpretation which is why the Supreme Court is involved.
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Old 05-07-2014, 05:22 PM   #253
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I hope the Supreme Court makes the right decision and find the obvious that Aereo is completely legal, and Congress needs to write laws for their corporate overlords if their corporate overlords want to squash innovation, but I fear the opposite.
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Old 05-07-2014, 06:16 PM   #254
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I'm surprised so many people seem to want Aereo to lose. Whether you think it's legal or not, they are the only virtual DVR that I'm aware of. What they have done is truly innovative and the television industry should be admiring them, not shunning them.

We all watched the music industry begin to implode when they tried to resist innovation. The same will happen to TV and movies. Networks should be bending over backwards to get people to watch their content. Ratings are down year over year.

They are fighting over money they receive from people who don't even watch their crap. Fools.....
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Old 05-07-2014, 06:32 PM   #255
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I'm surprised so many people seem to want Aereo to lose. Whether you think it's legal or not, they are the only virtual DVR that I'm aware of.
Cablevision has a network DVR service in the field (that they were sued over, incidentally) and TiVo offers such a product, but no one has rolled it out yet.
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Old 05-07-2014, 11:01 PM   #256
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I'm afraid not...the broadcasters have turned to retransmission consent fees to help slow the LOSS of revenue from traditional advertising. Advertisers don't spend as much money on broadcast commercials as they used to, diverting those dollars to cable and internet advertising. I have personal knowledge of at least one major network's ad rates and they have, on average, not kept up with the rate of inflation being nearly flat for the past 5 years. Many broadcasters in smaller markets (and some larger ones too) are still in debt from the cost of digital conversion and upgrades for HD. Broadcasting is not the money making machine that some seem to think it is.
I read that the retransmission fees only represent 10% of their revenue.
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Old 05-08-2014, 04:25 AM   #257
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Whole lotta smeekin' goin' on.
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Old 05-08-2014, 06:02 AM   #258
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I'm surprised so many people seem to want Aereo to lose. Whether you think it's legal or not, they are the only virtual DVR that I'm aware of. What they have done is truly innovative and the television industry should be admiring them, not shunning them.

We all watched the music industry begin to implode when they tried to resist innovation. The same will happen to TV and movies. Networks should be bending over backwards to get people to watch their content. Ratings are down year over year.

They are fighting over money they receive from people who don't even watch their crap. Fools.....
Yeah, it's called rent seeking, I think.
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Old 05-08-2014, 09:41 AM   #259
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I'm surprised so many people seem to want Aereo to lose. Whether you think it's legal or not, they are the only virtual DVR that I'm aware of. What they have done is truly innovative and the television industry should be admiring them, not shunning them.

We all watched the music industry begin to implode when they tried to resist innovation. The same will happen to TV and movies. Networks should be bending over backwards to get people to watch their content. Ratings are down year over year.

They are fighting over money they receive from people who don't even watch their crap. Fools.....
I don't think anyone WANTS Aereo to lose (I certainly don't) but the reality is that they probably will, since what they are doing skirts so close to the line, legally, that the justices will opt to maintain the status quo and tell Aereo they have to pay retransmission fees.
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Old 05-08-2014, 09:44 AM   #260
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I read that the retransmission fees only represent 10% of their revenue.
ONLY 10%. How would your household budget take it if your income were cut 10%? A reduction in revenue of 10% is pretty significant, particularly for an industry where the net profit is less than that (IOW, without that revenue they slip into the red).

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Old 05-08-2014, 09:53 AM   #261
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I want people who create things to control how much money for-profit middlemen can make off of those creations.
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Old 05-08-2014, 10:03 AM   #262
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I couldn't find any current info about the profit margins for local television stations, but Derek Baine, a senior analyst at SNL Kagan, said a good year for a broadcast network is a 10 percent profit margin, and I bet most local television stations have thinner margins than the big networks - especially the local television stations in generally under-served areas, i.e., those areas likely to be harmed most by failure of significant numbers of local channels.

That's not true. Television advertising pricing is not infinitely elastic, as you suggest.

The obvious intent of what law?

The law is what sets forth the basis for retransmission fees. These two sentences combine to make me question whether you know enough about this topic to comment on it.
I wasn't addressing the profit margin of local stations. I was looking at the percentage of total revenue that retransmission fees represent. If the retransmission fees represent a small percentage of total revenue, then the revenue reduction is not significant.

I believe I was suggesting finite elasticity of advertising revenue based on the
additional viewers added by Aereo.

I think the law requires free OTA signals. Another law authorizes the local stations to charge a retransmission fee. Ultimately the retransmission fees are passed on to the cable/satellite company customers. I believe this is a perversion, because the intent was for the public to be able to view the OTA channels for free.
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Old 05-08-2014, 10:11 AM   #263
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I wasn't addressing the profit margin of local stations. I was looking at the percentage of total revenue that retransmission fees represent.
What is the point in considering anything about a business without considering its impact on the business?

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Derek Baine, a senior analyst at SNL Kagan, said a good year for a broadcast network is a 10 percent profit margin, and I bet most local television stations have thinner margins than the big networks - especially the local television stations in generally under-served areas, i.e., those areas likely to be harmed most by failure of significant numbers of local channels.
If the retransmission fees represent a small percentage of total revenue, then the revenue reduction is not significant.
If the retransmission fees make the difference between the business concern being worthwhile or not, then it is significant. Without having numbers that refute the implication of Baine's numbers, your logic not only is poor, but leads you to the wrong conclusion.

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I think the law requires free OTA signals.
That's not the case, and so it only makes one wonder how many other of your assumptions are as wrong as that one.
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Old 05-08-2014, 10:24 AM   #264
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The intent of nearly all telecommunications law with regard to local television broadcasts has been to protect, nurture and encourage local broadcasters. Congress has long seen local television broadcasts as important as a source of news, emergency information and public service (the fact that they run political ads doesn't hurt either). The broadcasters are required by law to devote a certain percentage of their broadcast hours to news and/or public affairs content. In return for this stipulation (and some rather hefty license fees) the broadcasters were allowed to use the airwaves to deliver their content to everyone's home. None of this has anything to do with retransmission of the content. The broadcaster sends it across the airwaves, viewers erect antennas, receive the signals and then are free to do with the signals what they please, as long as they use it for their own, private, non-commercial (i.e. non-money-making) purposes.

Cable and satellite companies take this content (sometimes received via antenna, sometimes fed directly from the broadcaster) and bundle it with a bunch of cable content and sell that as a service. Since this is commercial (i.e. money making) use of the content, the cable and satellite operators are required to pay the broadcasters a fee (since the cable and satellite operators are making money of a package that contains other people's copyrighted material they must share that revenue with the copyright holders).

The key distinction here is that the first paragraph above deals with a SIGNAL, while the second deal with CONTENT. No one says the viewer must pay a fee to receive the broadcaster's signal. That is established law. The issue here is that Aereo is receiving the signal (as is their right) and then retransmitting the content and/or recording it for later viewing. Most significantly, they are charging viewers for the privledge. Since they are making money by distributing someone else's copyrighted material they must pay a fee to the copyright holder. This is also established law.

The dispute that the SCOTUS has been asked to resolve is whether or not Aereo is, under the law, the entity receiving the content, or are they actually selling a physical space to keep an antenna and the viewer is actually doing the receiving. Were a single antenna assigned permanently to a single viewer, they would be on stronger ground. However, when viewer A stops using the antenna, that antenna (and all the attached computing and storage equipment) can be used by viewer B. The broadcasters maintain that this makes it a content delivery service, not a community antenna.
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Old 05-08-2014, 10:30 AM   #265
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Were a single antenna assigned permanently to a single viewer, they would be on stronger ground.
I disagree. Earlier you made the point about the difference between signal and content. Aereo would be on defensible ground if they were passing along the broadcaster's signal, instead of extracting the content out of the signal, and passing that along to the customer.
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Old 05-08-2014, 10:51 AM   #266
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Do you two (bicker and Diana Collins), and/or the law, have agreed-upon definitions of 'signal' and 'content'? From a technical standpoint there seems to be room for ambiguity. For example, does 'signal' mean the radio-frequency carrier modulated, for example using 8-VSB modulation with the transport stream that defines the video signal? (Or content?). Does 'content' mean the entire sequence of video, including commercials? Or does it mean just program content, which is the case in some contexts?

Any further discussion without clear definitions is of questionable value.
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Old 05-08-2014, 11:20 AM   #267
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I would assume it is not about what section allows it but what section disallows what Aereo is doing. The pertinent sections seems to be 110 and 111 although both are open to interpretation which is why the Supreme Court is involved.
Technically, the way the law is written, everything invoking copyrighted material is illegal, then exceptions are carved out. The question is whether any of the exceptions carved out for sports bars and Superbowl parties also apply to Aereo.

But there is no section that says what Aereo is doing is legal, as some erroneously continue to argue.
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Old 05-08-2014, 11:48 AM   #268
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I wasn't addressing the profit margin of local stations. I was looking at the percentage of total revenue that retransmission fees represent. If the retransmission fees represent a small percentage of total revenue, then the revenue reduction is not significant.

I believe I was suggesting finite elasticity of advertising revenue based on the
additional viewers added by Aereo.

I think the law requires free OTA signals. Another law authorizes the local stations to charge a retransmission fee. Ultimately the retransmission fees are passed on to the cable/satellite company customers. I believe this is a perversion, because the intent was for the public to be able to view the OTA channels for free.
And they can view them for free. But in the case of cable, they are not receiving them OTA. People aren't being forced to use cable.
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Old 05-08-2014, 12:37 PM   #269
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Aereo doesn't even dispute the fact that they're retransmitting. They're simply claiming that they're allowed to retransmit without permission or payment. They're claiming that they're not streaming content, but they are, just like online music services and just like remote DVR services. Let's not lose sight of the actual issue being decided: Aereo is essentially claiming that they are allowed to retransmit the signal, even without paying license for it initially (neither in the manner online music services pay license, nor in the manner providers of remote DVR services pay license).
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Old 05-08-2014, 01:27 PM   #270
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Do you two (bicker and Diana Collins), and/or the law, have agreed-upon definitions of 'signal' and 'content'? From a technical standpoint there seems to be room for ambiguity. For example, does 'signal' mean the radio-frequency carrier modulated, for example using 8-VSB modulation with the transport stream that defines the video signal? (Or content?). Does 'content' mean the entire sequence of video, including commercials? Or does it mean just program content, which is the case in some contexts?

Any further discussion without clear definitions is of questionable value.
There are no clear definitions on purpose. The law actually refers to the word "performance", which is "an act of staging or presenting a play, concert, or other form of entertainment" (Google.com). It's basically any performance, even if different actors and/or musicians are used. It's why tribute bands pay royalties and why I can't reenact each full episode of "Game of Thrones" and post it on Youtube.

The only reason Aereo is still in business today is because a lower court took an extremely broad interpretation of the previous Cablevision cloud-DVR case:

1. It ruled that simultaneously transmitting identical copies of the same performance 1,000 times to 1,000 different people did not constitute a public performance because it was one copy per person. But Aereo itself can be seen as retransmitting the performance to the public in general, with each performance essentially the same, and therefore you can argue that what Aereo is doing must be a single public performance.

2. The consumer generally does not have the right to allow an unapproved (licensed by the content owner) third party to record or retransmit the performance for them. I don't think SCOTUS will "go there", because it might have unintended consequences. But everything is illegal in copyright law unless a specific exception (or SCOTUS ruling) has been granted, and there's no exception for this. Note that your cable company could offer a cloud-based DVR service, as cable companies are specifically excluded in copyright law and have been approved by the networks to retransmit their performances. Tivo is still covered because in-home video time shifting is covered in the Betamax case. But for Aereo, they are not approved and their time shifting does not occur within the home.
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