Desperate Broadcasters Turn to Supreme Court in Battle Against Aereo
Television networks and broadcasters are in the process of filing a petition with the U.S. Supreme Court over the controversial TV-streaming service Aereo, according to sources who spoke to Reuters.
Aereo allows users to stream live and recorded television content via the Web and a small, dime-size antenna for just $12 per month, which has enraged networks that claim the company is violating copyright laws by providing its users with a public performance of networks’ copyrighted content. Plaintiffs in the ongoing lawsuit include Walt Disney Co.’s (NYSE:DIS) ABC, CBS Corp. (NYSE:CBS), 21st Century Fox (NASDAQ:FOX), and Comcast Corp.’s (NASDAQ:CMCSA) NBC.
In April, Aereo had a win in court when a judge determined that the service could continue operating while litigation moved forward. In July, a judge declined to rehear the case despite pleas from the networks. On Thursday, the service got another win when a Massachusetts judge denied Hearst Television’s request to stop the service, Variety reported. Now, it looks like the networks’ only option is to appeal to the Supreme Court.
In a statement seen by Variety, Aereo CEO Chet Kanojia said on Thursday: “Today’s victory belongs to the consumer and today’s decision, makes clear that that there is no reason that consumers should be limited to 1950s technology to access over-the-air broadcast television. Using Aereo, a consumer can simply and easily use an individual remote antenna and cloud DVR via the Internet to record and watch-over-the air program.”