Pirates v. Trolls: Justices Trying to Play a Balancing Act on the Standard for Patent Law Treble Damages

troll-pirateBy Don Wang

As my buddy Vijay reported last November, the Supreme Court granted certiorari for Halo Elecs, Inc. v. Pulse Elects., Inc.., which was consolidated with Stryker Corp. v. Zimmer, Inc., to address whether it should change the current standard for awarding treble damages in patent suits. On February 23, 2016, the high court conducted the oral argument, and the transcript is available here. Continue reading

Video Killed the Radio Star… And the Internet Killed Cable

Untitled1By Tyler Quillin

This article began with an interest in the disparity between last year’s SEC Network and Pac12 Network revenue yields. However, research led to an even more disruptive evolution in cable television delivery – the end of cable bundling. As the internet continues to reshape the way we consume content, cable-bundling continues to decline.

Most of us still access cable television via the traditional bundling model, which functions through consumer subscriptions for desired channel lineups. Each of the channels provided by the service provider costs a fee to provide. These are called affiliate fees, which are licensing fees agreed upon between each service provider and the respective network. These affiliate fees are a growing influence on the pricing of service provider lineups in an evolving market where the internet provides the direct access to clients these networks never had before. Before the internet, networks needed cable servicer providers to disseminate their products to consumers, but now consumers can go straight to the source for targeted consumption of their desired programming via streaming subscription models. For example, remember the big splashes Hulu and Netflix made in the mid-2000s by providing streamed content? The Networks began offering content for free via Hulu while cable service providers were paying hefty affiliate fees. The cable service providers were unhappy, and Hulu became a subscription-based service. This marked the beginning of the end. Continue reading

Internet Pirates Need Not Fear the ITC—For Now

Untitled1By Mackenzie Olson

Imagine that you are the CEO of an entertainment company such as TimeWarner or Disney, and illegal downloading costs your company millions in lost revenue each year. How do you solve this problem? Do you change your business model? HBO is the creator of Game of Thrones, the most pirated TV show in the world. Some viewers who download the show illegally have explained that they pirate the program because they do not want to pay for a full cable subscription to watch one show. This year, HBO debuted a stand-alone streaming service that does not require a cable subscription. Currently, this may be HBO’s best option for reducing the rate of piracy of its programs in the United States; the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit recently ruled that the United States International Trade Commission (ITC) does not have the authority to prosecute foreign websites that contain pirated content in ClearCorrect Operating, LLC v. ITC. Continue reading