I have to admit that I find it uncomfortable to be in the position of defending television networks, but in the case of RedLasso I don’t think the networks had any choice but to sue the site. Current copyright law requires that a copyright holder enforce their copyrights and not do so arbitrarily or capriciously, it’s a use it or lose it proposition as far as the courts are concerned.
It may well be that RedLasso was operating in a fully legal manner but in the end it will likely be the courts that make that determination. To continue to operate the site would have exposed the company to substantial risk in the event that a court decided their use was not within the constraints of Fair Use… remember Napster?
Earlier this week, NBC Universal (NYSE: GE), Fox News Network and Fox Television Stations filed a lawsuit, alleging RedLasso hadn’t been licensed or authorized by the networks to reproduce copies of their news and entertainment programming.