News

Supreme Court rules against online TV company Aereo

Supreme Court rules against online TV company Aereo

AEREO TV:Chet Kanojia, the founder and CEO of Aereo, speaks during an interview. Photo: Associated Press

By Lawrence Hurley

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled that online TV service Aereo Inc, backed by media mogul Barry Diller, violates copyright law by using tiny antennas to provide subscribers with broadcast network content via the Internet.

On a 6-3 vote, the court handed a victory to the four major TV broadcasters and cast Aereo’s immediate future into doubt.

The court said the service constitutes a public performance of copyrighted content. For the networks, the victory protects the estimated $3 billion in so-called retransmission fees that broadcasters get from cable and satellite TV systems.

Justice Stephen Breyer said in the majority opinion that the ruling should not spell trouble for cloud-based content services in which personal files – including TV shows and music – are stored remotely on the Internet on servers from companies such as Google Inc, Microsoft Corp, DropBox Inc and Box Inc.

Aereo had argued that cloud services use the Internet in the same way as it does to store and transfer copyrighted content.

The case came before the court when Walt Disney Co’s ABC network, CBS Corp, Comcast Corp’s NBCUniversal and Twenty-First Century Fox Inc appealed a decision by the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in April 2013 that denied their request to shut Aereo down while litigation moves forward.

Aereo, backed by Barry Diller’s IAC/InterActiveCorp, charges users a low monthly fee to watch live or recorded broadcast TV channels on computers or mobile devices. Aereo does not pay the broadcasters.

(Reporting by Lawrence Hurley; Editing by Howard Goller and WIll DUNham)

Recent Headlines

in Local

Korean War veteran buried in Ithaca

Sgt. Michael James Barra was laid to rest at Calvary Cemetery in Ithaca Saturday, Nov. 22, 2014

Sgt. Michael James Barra was buried in Ithaca Saturday.

in Local

Spencer-Van Etten school bus driver faces charges

school_bus

Details about the alleged incident haven’t been revealed.

in Local

Three arrested in violent Halloween home invasion in Cortland County

Greg Hatch, 24, of Van Etten, Ian Burke, 19, of Spencer, and Jennifer Kelly, 18, of Spencer

The suspects are all due back in Cortlandville Town Court next week.

in Local

After epic snow, floods and roof collapses are concerns

New York State Police provide an escort for Suffolk and Nassau County Department of Public Works trucks headed for Buffalo (photo courtesy of New York State Police)

Warmer weather and rain are in the forecast, and that's making people in the Buffalo area nervous.

in National

Making headlines this week

AP333203377986

A look back at the biggest newsmakers this week and the headline you may have missed.