After Internet TV service Aereo lost its copyright fight in the U.S. Supreme Court to retransmit broadcast TV stations' signals without paying anything, it is seeking a lifeline from the FCC by asking to be defined as a paid TV service, Deadline reports. Aereo CEO Chet Kanojia is arguing his company should be defined as a "multichannel video programming distributor," so that it could negotiate deals with broadcasters.
The U.S. Supreme Court, 6-3, has ruled that Aereo's service of streaming free broadcast TV over the Internet violates broadcasters' copyrights, Gigaom reports. U.S. Justice Stephen Breyer, writing for the majority, concluded that Aereo was more like a cable company that needs to pay retransmission fees to carry broadcast TV instead of a DVR service that lets consumer time-shift and space-shift where they watch TV, Gigaom also reports.
USA Today reports on one of the most hotly anticipated decisions left for this Supreme Court term: does Aereo's streaming service of free broadcast TV violate copyright law? Broadcasters argue that Aereo should have to pay to retransmit the signals. USA Today predicts that whatever the outcome there could be more cord-cutting: a win could lead broadcasters to charge more in fees and higher prices could lead customers to cord-cutting. A win for Aereo would lead to more cord-cutting too because of the ease and cheapness steming from technological choice.
Vox reports on three significant changes pending this summer that could change the media and the Internet forever:
One, will the U.S. Supreme Court let Aereo stream free broadcast television over the Internet?
Two, can Comcast buy Time Warner Cable?
Three, will the Federal Communications Commission vote to approve Internet "fast lanes" for companies that pay more?
"It is entirely possible that 2014 will end with the traditional cable bundle broken, a fundamental change to the free and open internet, and the emergence of Comcast as a telecom behemoth more powerful than the old AT&T even dared to dream. It is also possible the complete opposite of those things will happen," Vox's Nilay Patel writes.
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.
With Internet start-up Aereo and broadcast TV companies slated to go to the U.S. Supreme Court today, the case "could have important implications for Internet streaming, cloud computing, and the future of the TV industry itself," Time reports. 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.
Next week, the U.S. Supreme Court will take up the copyright dispute between broadcast TV companies and Aereo, an Internet startup that streams broadcast programming online. Broadcasters have a Plan B if Aereo wins, The Wall Street Journal reports: "Plan B options under consideration range from lobbying Congress for a legislative solution to perhaps thwarting Aereo by shifting to cable transmission from broadcast. The most radical of the contingency plans is the recent suggestion from CBS Corp. CBS -0.08% Chief Executive Leslie Moonves that the company could offer its own Internet service if Aereo wins."
The U.S. Supreme Court will hear a case next month that could shape the future of broadcast TV and the contours of copyright law. Aereo, an Internet start-up that streams free broadcast TV over the Internet, argues that a ruling against it would "cripple the entire cloud industry," The Hill reports. Broadcasters argue the streaming services violates their copyrights in their programming.
TV broadcasters have gained an ally in the federal government in a U.S. Supreme Court case that could reshape the contours of copyright law and broadcast TV. Re/code reports that the Justice Department filed an amicus brief in which they argued that Aereo's transmission of free broadcast TV programming over the Internet violates copyright law. But the governmental lawyers said a ruling against Aereo wouldn't threaten technologies like cloud computing when involving the remote storage and streaming of legally acquired copies of copyrighted works, Re/code further reports.
Re/code reports that the four biggest television networks told the U.S. Supreme Court in their brief filed Monday that "Aereo, which provides broadcast TV shows to subscribers over the Internet without paying licensing fees to stations, is violating federal copyright law designed to protect content creators and distributors. Aereo has denied violating broadcasters’ copyrights through its unique online delivery system, although the company joined broadcasters in asking the Supreme Court to review the case."
According to their brief, the networks said a win for Aereo would "'launch a race by cable and sattelite companies to develop competing methods to capture copyrighted content and re-sell it without paying for the right do so. That would give broadcasters little choice but to reconsider the quality and quantity of programs they broadcast for free over the air.'"