/// Aereo vs. Broadcast TV: The Case That Could Change Everything

April 21, 2014  |  Media Week

On April 22, attorneys for Aereo and the broadcast TV networks will face off before the Supreme Court in American Broadcasting Companies Inc. v. Aereo . The closely watched case could change the course of broadcast television and determine the future of the emerging over-the-top video marketplace. With so much on the line, Aereo—fighting to stay in business—and the broadcasters that want to shut it down have enlisted the services of a couple of big-name Washington attorneys with deep ties to the high court. The Supreme Court decision , which could come in late summer, will end two years of legal battles that began just prior to Aereo’s launch in New York. What Aereo calls a technology that gets it around the copyright law to deliver over-the-air TV stations on the Internet broadcasters call a legal gimmick and a clear violation of copyright. As Aereo rolled out in other cities, broadcasters sued. Aereo won in New York and Boston but lost in Utah. When broadcasters petioned the Supreme Court last October to hear the case, the response of Aereo, knowing it faced an endless series of expensive lawsuits, was: Bring it on. The question before the court Whether a company “publicly performs a copyrighted television program when it retransmits a broadcast of that program to thousands of paid subscribers over the Internet.” What’s at stake for Aereo? If it loses, Barry Diller, Aereo’s financial backer, has said the startup is toast .

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Aereo vs. Broadcast TV: The Case That Could Change Everything


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