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MLB Calls Foul on Slingbox Placeshifting, Pitches the "L" Word

Illustration for article titled MLB Calls Foul on Slingbox Placeshifting, Pitches the L Word

For being "America's favorite pastime," the MLB is apparently populated by a bunch of whiners. According to the Hollywood Reporter, Esq., the league's legal vultures have begun circling around Slingbox because of its ability to placeshift games.

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Yeah, that's right. When you're on the road and just want to catch your home team's game via Sling, in the MLB's eyes you (and Sling Media) are acting illegally because of broadcast contracts written around geographical boundaries.

Since Sling refused to pay extortion licensing fees to the MLB, the league's currently contemplating that favorite of legal actions: a lawsuit. If Sling's still around, anyway, since according to the MLB Advanced Media's general counsel, "there's no guarantee that Slingbox will be around next year. It's a startup." Them's fightin' words. Which is surprising, coming from a pack of whining, weeping, crying crybabies.

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Sports Leagues' Slingbox Opposition Highlights New Game of Content Control [via Crave]
Image via Flickr

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DISCUSSION

Technically, it seems to me (warning: idiot attempting to act smart) the game is being 'viewed' in the place receiving the signal. It is then being re-brodcast to a new device. So, I do not think they have a case on placeshifting as much as they have a case for re-broadcasting. The latter is a far bigger legal problem, I think, but also much more difficult case for MLB to win.

The real question, though, is whether Slingbox has the legal piggie bank to fight.