Jason Bloom in Yahoo Finance: Could Aereo Come Back from the Dead?

07/10/2014


Controversial online television service Aereo is trying to make a comeback, after the Supreme Court ruled last month it was violating copyright laws by transmitting local channels over the Internet.

Now Aereo says in a new court filing that it wants to be treated just like cable TV carriers, which are entitled to carry local broadcast channels if they pay a government-set compulsory license fee. That’s the opposite of what the Barry Diller-backed startup had argued for the past two years, when it claimed to be providing customers with individual service via thousands of tiny TV antennas...

Aereo’s technical setup was somewhat different from cable, Justice Stephen Breyer wrote for the high court. “But given Aereo's overwhelming likeness to the cable companies … this sole technological difference between Aereo and traditional cable companies does not make a critical difference here,” he concluded.

“Aereo is making an interesting argument and the Supreme Court invited it,” says Jason Bloom, an intellectual-property specialist and partner at the law firm Haynes and Boone, LLP in Dallas. “But I doubt the court will go for it. Internet transmission was definitely not contemplated in 1976 when the compulsory license was added to the law.”

Excerpted from Yahoo Finance, July 10, 2014. To view full article, click here.

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