Aereos Fate Will Be Decided By The Supreme Court

Internet TV provider Aereo’s long running court case with the major TV networks is set to reach it’s final stage when the two parties battle it out in the Supreme Court.

Aereo-internet-TVThe case revolves around Aereo’s business model in which they charge subscribers to retransmit and store TV broadcasts via the internet to connected devices. The service launched in New York back in March 2012, and has since expanded to 10 cities as part of a nationwide expansion.

But the TV companies that include ABC, CBS, NBCUniversal and Fox want them to stop.They have appealed a court decision they lost in April by the court of appeals to shut down Aereo.

They say that the internet TV company are infringing their copyright by redistributing content without permission. Aereo argue that the process of distribution, assigning every subscriber their own receiver and antenna is the same set-up as someone watching at home.

Talking on Aereo’s Blog, CEO Chet Kanojia said, “We believe that consumers have a right to use an antenna to access over-the-air television and to make personal recordings of those broadcasts. The broadcasters are asking the Court to deny consumers the ability to use the cloud to access a more modern-day television antenna and DVR. If the broadcasters succeed, the consequences to consumers and the cloud industry are chilling.”

Among those filing court papers in support of the broadcasts are the National Football League, Major League Baseball and various media companies, including Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. CBS said in a statement on Friday that Aereo’s business model is “built on stealing the creative content of others”.

Speaking on behalf of the networks, a CBS statement said, “We believe that Aereo’s business model, and similar offerings that operate on the same principle, are built on stealing the creative content of others. We are pleased that our case will be heard and we look forward to having our day in court.”

That day is expected to come in June when the supreme court case is heard.But if the broadcasters lose it still may not be the end of the matter, as they would be expected to then lobby Congress for a change in the law.
The news comes shortly after Aereo announced it had secured $34 million extra funding from investors, which will speed up expansion and bring compatibility with even more devices.


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