A judge has ordered the billionaire media entreprenuer Alki David to stop calling his new online TV service BarryDriller.com, ruling that the name is misleadingly similar to that of another much bigger media mogul, Barry Diller. In a 20-page order issued on Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Audrey Collins in Los Angeles enjoined David and several companies affiliated with him from using the terms “BarryDriller.com” and “Barry Driller” (that’s Driller, with an “r”). David launched an online television service by that name in August. According to Diller, who immediately sued, BarryDriller.com is an obvious attempt to capitalize on the early success of Diller’s new online TV start-up, Aereo Inc. Diller, of course, is the self-made billionaire who ran both Paramount Pictures and Fox before founding the media empire IAC/InterActive Corp. In February Diller invested $20.5 million in Aereo, which streams live and recorded TV shows over the internet to subscribers for $12 a month without paying retransmission fees to the networks that make the shows. In a so-far successful attempt to avoid copyright liability, Aereo has filled a warehouse in Brooklyn with thousands of dime-sized TV antennas that make unique copies of each TV program for individual subscribers, as opposed to a central copy. The arrangement lets Aereo avail itself of a seminal 2008 copyright decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in Cartoon Network v. CSC Holdings. In that case, the Second Circuit was confronted with Cablevision DVR technology that let subscribers record TV programs and then view them later. It ruled that Cablevision’s retransmission of those TV shows is not a “public performance” for purposes of the Copyright Act, because the DVR technology produced a unique copy for each customer. As we’ve reported, ABC, NBC, FOX and other networks sued Aereo for copyright infringement in March. In July, U.S. District Judge Allison Nathan in Manhattan denied their request for a preliminary injunction, suggesting that she thinks that Aereo is shielded by the Cablevision precedent. The networks, which are represented by Jenner & Block, have appealed that decision to the Second Circuit. We named Aereo’s lawyers at Goodwin Procter and Winston & Strawn Litigators of the Week for their success in the case so far. Just a few days after Nathan’s ruling, David launched his own service to compete with Aereo: BarryDriller.com. David, who was just profiled by The Hollywood Reporter, is a 44-year-old Greek (Alki is short for “Alkiviades”) whose family controls the Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company SA. When’s he’s not offering rappers Chris Brown and Drake millions of dollars to fight over pop star Rihanna, he’s investing in digital media ventures. He launched a service with some similarities to Aereo back in 2010 called FilmOn. The networks sued over that venture too, and David agreed to abandon the site as part of a settlement announced in July. (We last wrote about that feud here.)
*May exclude premium content
Already have an account? Sign In Now
Interested in customizing your subscription with Law.com All Access?
Contact our Sales Professionals at 1-855-808-4530 or send an email to email@example.com to learn more.