[opendtv] TV Technology: Supreme Court to Hear ABC v. Aereo April 22

  • From: "Manfredi, Albert E" <albert.e.manfredi@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx" <opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 14 Feb 2014 22:33:00 +0000

Perhaps Aereo should counter-sue, demanding compensation from the networks?

Hey, aren't more people watching those ads when Aereo relays the programming 
over the Internet? Maybe Aereo should threaten to allow complete ad-skipping on 
their PVRs, if the networks don't quit complaining.

(Not that I buy this pretense about "different technology," with their 
supposedly tiny antennas, but that's an entirely separate technical discussion.)



Deborah D. McAdams / 
02.11.2014 03:45 PM
Supreme Court to Hear ABC v. Aereo April 22
Oral arguments to be presented

WASHINGTON-The U.S. Supreme Court has scheduled ABC TV v. Aereo oral arguments 
for Tuesday, April 22 (not Monday, April 21). The case involves Copyright Act 
application to streaming of free broadcast TV programs via the Internet to 
paying customers. Justice Samuel Alito is recused.

Aereo retransmits broadcast TV signals to mobile devices via cloud-based 
storage priced at $8 for 20 hours a month and $12 for 60 hours. Lawsuits were 
filed because Aereo does not seek to secure retransmission consent for the TV 
station signals it offers to subscribers. Federal courts in New York and Boston 
denied injunctions, triggering a cert petition to the Supreme Court by the 
plaintiffs. Organizations ranging from Viacom to the National Football League, 
Major League Baseball and the American Sicety of Composer, Authors and 
Publishers supported the petition. It was granted Jan. 10. The high court today 
announced its April schedule, including the oral arguments in the Aereo case.

Aereo beta launched in New York in March of 2012 with financial backing from 
Barry Diller, chairman of IAC. Diller and Aereo CEO Ken Chet Kanojila claim 
Aereo is not subject to retransmission consent law because of its technological 
configuration. Pay TV providers such as cable and satellite services are 
covered under retrans law in that they take broadcast signals and "retransmit" 
them to many subscribers, making the configuration a "public performance," 
which is subject to retransmission consent fees levied by broadcasters. Aereo 
is renting tiny, individual antennas to subscribers who access the multichannel 
service through a cloud-based app, all of which Aereo claims is a "private 
performance," akin to the definition laid out in Cablevision, the case that 
established the legality of the remote, networked digital video recorder. 

Aereo has launched in 10 cities-New York, Detroit, Boston, Baltimore, 
Cincinnati, Salt Lake City, Denver, Atlanta, Dallas, Houston and Miami. San 
Antonio, Texas, is no deck for a Feb. 19 launch. Recent reports indicate the 
service ran out of capacity in New York and Atlanta, though Aereo has yet to 
publish subscriber numbers.
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