This week Omniverse CEO Jason DeMeo gave an interview with LightReading to talk about the recent lawsuit from ACE’s whose members include some of the biggest names in TV and many others along with his contract that allows him to offer the streaming service.
What is Omniverse One World Television? According to Bloomberg, Omniverse One World Television was formed in 2012 and offers live TV, podcasts, and on-demand content. From what we can see they have a premade bundle that companies can buy to offer their own streaming service. This is also what HDHomeRun and others did to offer their own streaming service.
Possibly the most interesting outcome of the interview with LightReading was the fact that SiliconDust’s HDHomeRun Premium TV, Flixon, SkyStream, VivaLive TV, and others under the Omniverse model do not own their customers.
During the interview when the topic of who owns the customers for services like HDHomeRun Premium TV, Jason DeMeo said “We don’t relicense content. “We don’t have the right to do that, number one. Number two, if we’re not relicensing the content, then… our resellers or marketers couldn’t own the customer, technically.”
According to Omniverse, companies like SiliconDust who use Omniverse to run a live TV streaming services are commission-based and Omniverse owns the customers.
This has been a major question about the Omniverse run services. Does Omniverse have the rights to re-sell rights to streaming services to companies like SiliconDust? Now it seems that Omniverse is arguing that they are not reselling their rights to other companies, but rather using them to sell their services.
In an earlier interview, Jason DeMeo said they have a 100-year contract that allows Omniverse to sell a streaming service. According to DeMeo, this contract is with his company called Hovsat Inc, a small private cable operator based in New Jersey that operates in Freehold and Tinton Falls, NJ. This Hovsat Inc company is what is used to resell through Omniverse the streaming rights to companies like TikiLive, HDHomeRun, and SkyStream TV to name a few.
This deal with DIRECTV allows them to use the DIRECTV feed and explains why sometimes the DIRECTV logo shows up on services like HDHomeRun Premium TV.
“Everyone is framing me as some sort of pirate… when I’m 100% compliant with what I’m supposed to do,” DeMeo said in an interview with Light Reading. “They can’t live with a short-term contract; they needed a long-term contract,” DeMeo said per his understanding of how the deal originated decades ago. “They are potentially on the hook to serve neighborhoods for potentially 100 years… Having a five-year agreement doesn’t work if you’re going to be a supplier of cable for an entire community.”
According to DeMeo, the contract “will blow your mind.” “It’s not a normal agreement, it’s extremely unique… 80% of our contract is about protecting intellectual property… We’re just distributors and marketers, that’s all we are.”
It looks like both sides in this lawsuit are not backing down. Omniverse seems confident that they are well within the law and ACE is standing by their lawsuit arguing that Omniverse does not have the right to do what they are doing. For now, we will have to wait and see what is decided in court.
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