Jason Bloom in Law360: Lawyers Weigh In On Supreme Court's Aereo Ruling

06/26/2014


The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled that online television streaming service Aereo Inc. violates copyright law by retransmitting over-the-air programming without authorization. Here, attorneys tell Law360 why the decision in American Broadcasting Companies Inc. v. Aereo Inc. is significant...

Jason Bloom, Haynes and Boone, LLP
“The Supreme Court’s decision is essentially a death knell for Aereo and the similar but unrelated company FilmOn X. While the court found Aereo to be enough like a cable system to fall within the intent of the Copyright Act, the court certainly did not find Aereo to be a cable system or to be entitled to the type of compulsory license specifically afforded cable systems in the Copyright Act. Aereo therefore has nowhere to go but away. However, the court was careful to limit its ruling to the facts before it, in an effort to minimize any impact on cloud computing, remote storage DVR services, and other technologies. Yet, the ruling is not so clear. While the court did not outlaw cloud computing when it comes to legally obtained content, the ruling could be read to create direct liability for cloud computing companies to the extent their users are storing and retrieving illegally-obtained content. If multiple users of a cloud service are storing and retrieving the same unlawfully obtained bootleg recording, even from different copies at different times, that could cause the cloud companies to be directly liable under the Supreme Court’s ruling.”

Excerpted from Law360, June 26, 2014. To view full article, click here (subscription required).

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