Although the two parties appeared to call a legal truce this summer over the streaming of popular content from channels like MTV and Comedy Central via iPad, the “standstill agreement” seems to have moved away from the possibility of litigation-free resolution.
The dispute began back in April, when the two companies filed lawsuits against one another in federal court over the legality of streaming the channels’ content on the iPad after Time Warner launched an app for mobile devices. The Hollywood Reporter describes the disagreement:
TWC pulled Viacom channels after getting a cease-and-desist letter, but went to New York federal court to seek a declaration that copyright law permitted a limited, more convenient way for its subscribers to enjoy television in the home on their iPad devices. Viacom claimed in its own lawsuit that TWC had broken a contract and committed copyright infringement.
Time Warner has now answered Viacom’s suit, maintaining that the latter must “offer TWC identical rights to distribute the Viacom Services with respect to Internet or online services as Viacom has offered to third parties.”
The cable provider also cites Cablevision’s permissions in its response:
“Viacom’s grant of such rights to Cablevision without offering identical rights to TWC constitutes a breach of certain of the Viacom Affiliation Agreements, and entitles TWC to terminate its distribution of certain of the Viacom Services and accordingly cease paying significant license fees for those services.”
In a motion, Viacom complained about Time Warner’s addition of claims about the network CMT, and argues that the issues are separate:
“TW Cable should not be permitted simply to tack on to a federal court action a completely separate and unrelated garden variety contract dispute when there is no independent basis for this court’s subject matter jurisdiction.”
The dispute is ongoing.