Aereo, have had to shut-down their internet streaming service in both Denver and Salt Lake City, after losing a request to keep operating in the markets as its legal battle with broadcasters plays out.
After the ruling last month, when a Utah federal judge told Aereo to cease operating in six states, saying the company’s service violates copyright law.
Aereo requested that decision be suspended pending an appeal, but a 10th Circuit Court of Appeals panel denied this saying, “Aereo has not made a strong showing that it is likely to succeed on the merits of its appeal. Nor has Aereo demonstrated that the other factors weigh in its favor. We therefore deny Aereo’s emergency motion to stay the preliminary injunction pending appeal.”
This has resulted in subscribers screens in Utah going into the dark. and Aereo will need to wait until the Supreme Court case decides on it’s legality in April.
Customers affected will be issued a refund for this month’s service for anyone living in those two markets, and the Denver and Salt Lake City areas are now shown as “coming soon” on Aereo’s website.
Aereo who still operate in 11 other markets, launched their internet re-broadcasting service in Denver last year, charging subscribers $8 per month for hiring a mini antenna that supplies local OTA TV channels via internet streaming. But as Aereo do nott pay broadcasters any retransmission fees they have been hit with lawsuits since launching.
Aereo’s Founder & CEO Chet Kanojia posted this message in response to the decision:-
On February 25, the District Court in Utah granted a preliminary injunction against Aereo in the Tenth Circuit of the United States, which includes Utah and Colorado. On March 7, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals denied, 2:1, Aereo’s request to stay that injunction. This means that for the time being, we will have to cease providing our services to you, our valued customers in the Salt Lake City and Denver markets, beginning at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, March 8.
We are extremely disappointed that the District Court in Utah has chosen to take a different path than every other Court that has reviewed the Aereo technology.
Consumers have a fundamental right to watch over-the-air broadcast television via a modern antenna and to record copies for their personal use. The Copyright Act provides no justification to curtail that right simply because the consumer is using modern, remotely located equipment.
We are very sorry for the effect that this decision has on you and we look forward to presenting our case to the U.S. Supreme Court and ultimately restoring your ability to use Aereo. In the meantime, we are issuing a full refund for the current month to you, our customers in Salt Lake City and Denver. We commit to letting you know as soon as we have more information about the future of Aereo in your market.
We are unwavering in our belief that Aereo’s technology falls squarely within the law and we look forward to continuing to serve you. This is an ongoing battle, but together we can to protect innovation, progress, and consumer choice.