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Supreme Court Ponders Protecting Cloud Computing During Aereo Arguments

The U.S. Supreme Court appeared to be concerned about the fate of cloud computing but not so much with the fate of Internet startup Aereo in oral arguments today, Re/code reports: "As attorneys for the Web TV service and the TV networks who are suing it argued their case today, justices repeatedly asked about ways they could write a judgment that protected the rights of other cloud computing services, such as Dropbox, to continue operating. But they seemed less concerned about Aereo’s fate. Some justices wondered why Aereo shouldn’t be considered the equivalent of cable company, which would give them the right to transmit TV programming — but would also require them to pay for it. And others argued that Aereo seemed primarily designed to evade copyright law."

Aereo retransmits free broadcast TV over the Internet through individual antennas dedicated to each customer. Aereo says it designed its system with those one-to-one antennas to avoid violating broadcasters' exclusive rights to publicly perform their works. But broadcasters say Aereo is freeloading on their content without having to pay retransmission fees.