While many who are larger than they are have tried and failed, Channel 5 in Boston (USA) are seeking retribution for streaming start-up Aereo‘s entry into the local broadcast market, starting up a fresh lawsuit against the thumbnail antenna-based service.
The station WCVB-TV is noted as having filed the case on Tuesday (9 July) in Boston’s US District Court, under the claim that Aereo are ‘violating federal copyright law’ through their rebroadcasting of Channel 5 programming without prior consent.
The official listing notes: “Aereo’s business and technology stand in violation of, and threaten to undermine, the carefully balanced statutory and regulatory scheme set up for the broadcast industry.”
The New York City-based company have attracted controversy ever since first launching in their home city last year, and were the subject of a large-scale lawsuit launched by major networks such as NBC, CBS, ABC, and Fox, which was lost by the high-profile broadcasters, with the surprising outcome prompting some of those big-money networks to make the extraordinarily petty suggestion that they will take their content off of free-to-air television (and move to cable services) should Aereo continue their service in the USA.
The issue that free-to-air networks have with the service is that Aereo are charging for ‘relayed streaming’ and the ability to ‘digitally record’ their content, unauthorised (with no compensation fee for the networks), receiving $8-$12/month from customers off of content which is not theirs in any right.
However, Aereo’s point of view in the case is that any free-to-air content is essentially fair game for rescreening, and so far appear to have been vindicated to an extent the court cases so far, as they have not been shut down by authorities… so far. Will a lower-profile Boston-based ABC affiliate manage to buck the trend?