Major League Baseball has an interesting concept of the definition of the word, “illegal.” When we hear that word, we take it to mean, “against the law.” For example: driving 150 mph in a school zone while smoking crack and evading your taxes is “illegal.”
MLB says watching programming you pay for in a place other than your home is “illegal.” From CNET:
“Of course, what they are doing is not legal,” said Mellis [General Councel for MLB Advanced Media] . “We and other leagues have formed a group to study the issue and plan our response. A lot depends on ongoing discussions. Plus, there’s no guarantee that Slingbox will be around next year. It’s a start-up.”
In an interview with CNET News.com, Sling Media CEO Blake Krikorian said it was “a ridiculous statement” to say the Slingbox is illegal. Krikorian also questioned whether MLB has joined with other professional sports leagues to discuss the legal implications of the Slingbox. “Our relationships with the leagues, including MLB as I understand it, are very strong,” he said.
MLB claims its not the “place-shifting” thats “illegal” but the “transmission-shifting.” As in, it’s illegal to transmit television over the internet. It’s a shakey position, especially since Slingbox isn’t designed to compete with out-of-market packages like MLB.TV. Why should someone who only wants to watch their home team pay for an out-of-market package? Silly.
Anyhow, Slingbox fans can relax just a little, CNET reports that legal experts are saying there’s nothing illegal about it. —MEGHANN MARCO