FilmOn.TV is Selling Your Podcast
Last night I was informed a website – Filmon.tv – is selling your podcast for .99 cents or more. The FilmOn.tv website states you can watch local channels in the US and Canada. However, digging deeper, we found an area that has hundreds of podcasts for sale in HD.
The website’s front page has several TV channels — from sports, kids stuff and movies to music in different genres. The social area allows you to do one-on-one video chats or broadcasts.
This service is also available on iOS, Android, Blackberry and Windows devices through apps.
Who / What is FilmOn?
Filmon.tv is connecting to live channels such as WGN and KDOC in Los Angeles, C-TV and AMI TV in Canada and more. The service has been running since 2009, rebranding and playing ads over on-air content. Owned by Alki David, he is a heir to the Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company and owns three TV channels himself.
This website has already been to court, having injunctions for broadcasting CBS, ABC, NBC and FOX have all been awarded temporary restraining orders, but FilmOn’s lawyers have been counter-suing claiming they are streaming “Over the Air” signals similar to Aereo.
FilmOn is Turning to Stealing Podcasts as DVR Content
However, it’s the Subscriptions/alacarte channel that is the most problematic for podcasters. Hundreds of podcasts for sale to “Watch and record in HD” in DVR style at 99 cents a show. Most of these podcasts are not even video podcasts and some shows are free to download anyway!
Shows such as WTF with Marc Maron, The Soup and Chelsea Lately by E-Online, Adam Corolla show and more.
You might think your podcast doesn’t fall on this list. However, I found several shows that you might not expect. My Day in Tech History podcast was in this list; a show that gets only a couple hundred downloads a day because of its specific genre. Fellow podcaster Todd Cochrane’s Geek News Central is another show in the list.
These join podcasts by TWiT, Geek Beat, This American Life and other shows you might find on iTunes, Stitcher and more. All shows that seem to fall in top 10 lists on iTunes and Stitcher. I would expect as they grow, more shows will be added.
FilmOn.TV’s DMCA page
The most hilarious part is their DMCA page they have up. It states (at the beginning):
FilmOn.com does not tolerate any copyright infringement on the site
It is our policy to respond to clear notices of alleged copyright infringement that comply with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. In addition, we will promptly terminate without notice the accounts of those determined by us to be “repeat infringers”. If you are a copyright owner or an agent thereof, and you believe that any content hosted on our web site www.FilmOn.com ) infringes your copyrights,then you may submit a notification pursuant to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”) by providing FilmOn.com’s Designated Copyright Agent with the following information in writing (please consult your legal counsel or see 17 U.S.C. Section 512(c)(3) to confirm these requirements):
It goes on to state YOU have to provide a letter with signature that proves you are the content owner and you want the content to be taken down.
What You can Do to Prevent Your Show to be on FilmOn
You could fill out the DMCA takedown. Another action is to state your copyright in your podcast and on your website. I consulted Gordon Firemark on this issue and he stated:
A cease and desist letter might work, but it also gives ’em time to circle the wagons. Not only are they redistributing content without licenses, they’re rebranding it with their logo/bug. Copyright, trademark, unfair competition, and a few other potential claims.
I will follow this case as we go and any subsequent legal action by fellow podcasters. We do have a FULL DISCUSSION on the Podcasters Community at G+.