Jason Bloom in Law360: How the High Court Can Avoid Collateral Damage in Aereo

04/18/2014


A defeat for Aereo Inc. in its U.S. Supreme Court battle with broadcasters could pose a big threat to the world of cloud computing, the company and others have claimed. With arguments in the case set for Tuesday, Law360 examines if the justices can shut down Aereo without causing problems in the cloud.

The problem is rooted in the Second Circuit's highly publicized 2008 ruling on a Cablevision Systems Corp. cloud-based digital video recorder that made copies for users and then beamed them back to the home. The appeals court found this was merely a "private," rather than a "public," performance under the Copyright Act's transmit clause...

Another step the court could take, if it's concerned about cloud computing services that act as storage lockers, would be to explicitly distinguish in its ruling between the near-live performances of Aereo's service from data being saved on a remote hard drive.

"Cloud computing generally has a lot more do with storage than transmission," said Jason Bloom, a Haynes and Boone, LLP partner. "It's a bit different than what we have here: television that's being broadcast live and then retransmitted."

Excerpted from Law360, April 18, 2014. To view full article, click here (subscription required).

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