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

in Music

CHART TOPPERS: This week’s top rock tracks

godsmack

LISTEN: This week's top rock tracks, according to the latest Billboard charts.

in Music

Robert Plant urges Jimmy Page to give up Led Zeppelin reunion

2012 Kennedy Center Honorees and members of the band Led Zeppelin, from left, Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones, and Robert Plant chat on the red carpet after arriving at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts for the 2012 Kennedy Center Honors Performance and Gala Sunday, Dec. 2, 2012 at the State Department in Washington.

Robert Plant has urged his former Led Zeppelin bandmate Jimmy Page to end his war of words with the singer and concentrate on recording new music.

in Weird

Groom turns canceled wedding into charity benefit

Groom

A Pittsburgh man whose wedding was called off is making the best of the situation. Instead of getting married he's raising thousands for charity.

in Weird

From Texas, where everything is bigger, the 99-pack of beer

99beers

Invite the whole neighborhood to your cookout, because you're going to have plenty of beer.

in Weird

Australian farmers could have world’s woolliest sheep

Six-year-old Shaun the merino sheep may be the world's woolliest sheep. He had likely never been shorn in his life, but was due to have a date with the clippers in the next few days, farmers said.

Shaun the sheep was found wandering the Australian countryside with what is estimated to be a 55 lb coat.