The Supreme Court has ruled for broadcasters and against Aereo TV in the battle over Aereo's tiny antennas which allow people to watch live TV broadcasts over the Internet. The opinion is here. (Background is here.)
The Court today ruled (with Justices Alito, Scalia and Thomas dissenting) that Aereo's service is one that transmits performances of copyrighted works to the public. It rejected Aereo's arguments that it merely supplies equipment that allows others to do so. [More...]
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Here is the transcript of today's oral argument in the Supreme Court in the case of ABC v. Aereo. Aereo is a broadcast tv streaming service that for a small monthly fee, allows computer and mobile device users to access their network of antennas and watch shows that are broadcast on free over the air channels in their area. Not surprisingly, the TV networks want to shut them down.
The networks claim Aereo violates copyright laws. Aereo says all it does it provide access to the antennas and the user decides what to watch.
The legal issues are very technical. One has to do with whether Aereo's service falls under the "public performance" or "reproduction" part of the copyright statute. If the networks are right, then Aereo is in violation of the law for not paying re-transmission fees to the networks. (Networks earn $3 billion a year in re-transmission fees from cable and satellite providers.) [More...]
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