In the wake of the June 25 Supreme Court decision, the online distributor of broadcast signals is taking a new legal tack: it’s a cable system and entitled to the compulsory license just like any conventional cable system. In making the argument, Aereo cites the high court’s finding that Aereo is “for all practical purposes” a cable system. Arguing for an immediate injunction against Aereo, broadcasters said Aereo’s new argument is “astonishing,” given its past insistance that it was not a cable system.
If the Supreme Court rules against Aereo on the transmission issue, the Aereo story could come to a relatively abrupt end, but if it doesn’t, Aereo still faces serious legal hurdles ahead. In either case, the Supreme Court’s decision on the transmission issue is not likely to be the “one and done” referendum that Aereo might have hoped for. Stated differently, if the Supreme Court decision does turn out to be “one and done,” it will be Aereo that is done.
In a motion to intervene, Alki David’s company says that it will be impacted by the high court’s ruling, but that the streaming service has an “incentive” not to represent its interest.
If TV’s copyright infringement arguement is rejected by the High Court, it doesn’t mean the end of over-the-air broadcasting as we know it. The doomsday scenario is flawed and broadcasters could counter with their own OTT service. The only certainty for broadcasters is the need to think it through and be prepared if they do come up short in court.
The copyright infringement case has moved to the High Court. Here’s a look at the case’s quick timing, the filing of friend of the court briefs, the parties and their arguments, and a little “tea leaf reading” of current Supreme Court justices’ prior positions in cases that might influence their perspective.
The Supreme Court opts to use the broadcasters’ formulation of the question to be resolved by the court. So if you’re sizing up the odds before placing your bets on the case, you should be aware that, to the extent that the “question presented” may provide a possible soupçon of a hint of the Court’s leaning, the broadcasters may have won the first round.
The Supreme Court on Friday announced that is has decided to review the decision of a US Appeals Court in New York finding that the Aereo service of retransmitting over the Internet the signals of local television stations, without permission from or payment to those stations, was legal. One newspaper editorial, from the Los Angeles Times, has suggested that this is a Betamax case for the 21st century. But the issue will be who is doing the performance, not a fair use decision as in the Betamax case.
Broadcasters will get a U.S. Supreme Court hearing in their fight to stop Aereo Inc., the company that is threatening the industry’s decades-old business model by selling live television programming over the Internet. The justices today agreed to hear an appeal by media companies including ABC, Fox, NBCUniversal and CBS.
The Supreme Court will get its first chance to decide whether to hear the networks’ case against Aereo on Jan. 10. That’s when the court will meet to decide what cases to hear in 2014, according to the court’s docket. Their decision could be announced as early as the following Monday.
“Make no mistake about it,” broadcasters tell the Supreme Court. “Aereo is not a hardware supplier. It offers a subscription service.”