Universal, Warner blocks Zattoo

German court rules in favor of studios

BERLIN — A court in Hamburg has granted Universal and Warner Bros. a preliminary injunction against Swiss streaming video portal Zattoo for running commercial spots with their films.

Zattoo bundles Germany’s free TV channels on its Internet site as free web streams but adds online advertising to the content as part of its business model.

Warner and Universal are suing the IPTV provider, saying its agreement with German channels does not allow it to insert commercials into its films.

The majors are seeking additional license fees from Zattoo, which has been blocked from streaming Warner and Universal films until a settlement is reached.

Launched in 2005, Zattoo boasts more than 4.2 million registered users, 40% of which stem from Germany. The service is also available in Denmark, France, Spain, Switzerland and the U.K.

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