News

Supreme Court rules against online TV company Aereo

Supreme Court rules against online TV company Aereo

AEREO TV:Chet Kanojia, the founder and CEO of Aereo, speaks during an interview. Photo: Associated Press

By Lawrence Hurley

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled that online TV service Aereo Inc, backed by media mogul Barry Diller, violates copyright law by using tiny antennas to provide subscribers with broadcast network content via the Internet.

On a 6-3 vote, the court handed a victory to the four major TV broadcasters and cast Aereo’s immediate future into doubt.

The court said the service constitutes a public performance of copyrighted content. For the networks, the victory protects the estimated $3 billion in so-called retransmission fees that broadcasters get from cable and satellite TV systems.

Justice Stephen Breyer said in the majority opinion that the ruling should not spell trouble for cloud-based content services in which personal files – including TV shows and music – are stored remotely on the Internet on servers from companies such as Google Inc, Microsoft Corp, DropBox Inc and Box Inc.

Aereo had argued that cloud services use the Internet in the same way as it does to store and transfer copyrighted content.

The case came before the court when Walt Disney Co’s ABC network, CBS Corp, Comcast Corp’s NBCUniversal and Twenty-First Century Fox Inc appealed a decision by the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in April 2013 that denied their request to shut Aereo down while litigation moves forward.

Aereo, backed by Barry Diller’s IAC/InterActiveCorp, charges users a low monthly fee to watch live or recorded broadcast TV channels on computers or mobile devices. Aereo does not pay the broadcasters.

(Reporting by Lawrence Hurley; Editing by Howard Goller and WIll DUNham)

Recent Headlines

38 mins ago in Music

Oklahoma officials win approval for Merle Haggard statue

Fresh
merlehaggard

The late country legend is set to be remembered with a statue of his likeness in Muskogee.

1 hour ago in Entertainment

Jim Beam fills 14 millionth bottle of bourbon

Fresh
jimbeam807686855761

Jim Beam has filled and sealed its 14 millionth barrel of bourbon since the 1933 repeal of Prohibition, achieving a first in the bourbon industry.

1 hour ago in Music

Loretta Lynn hosting motorcycle rally at her ranch

Fresh
lorettalynn

The country music icon has agreed to stage Nashville Bike Week 2017 at Loretta Lynn's Ranch and Camp Grounds in Hurricane Mills.