U.S. Supreme Court rules that Aereo violates copyright law

U.S. Supreme Court rules that Aereo violates copyright law
By Joseph Keller on 25 Jun 2014 11:23 am

The United States Supreme Court has held that Aereo, the cloud service for watching broadcast TV without the need for an antenna, violates copyright law. The 6-3 opinion is effectively a death blow to the service, which will need to drastically change its business model in order to continue operating.

Writing for the majority, Justice Steven Breyer states that, in the Court's opinion, Aereo is effectively a cable company, and as such, must pay the same licensing fees for broadcasting content. The technology behind the scenes is of little consequence when comparing Aereo to cable systems.

Cable companies started suing Aereo soon after it launched in 2012. Their major argument was that the company's capture and re-transmission of broadcast signals was a violation of "public performance" rights. The Court agreed with this. Specifically, the Court also cited the Transmit Clause of the Copyright Act of 1976 in its decision, which says that a copyright holder has the exclusive rights to the performance of a copyrighted work, including the transmission of that work to members of the public.

Aereo gained support for Chromecast just last month. Tell us below in the comments how you feel about the Supreme Court's decision.

Source: United States Surpeme Court, via Ars Technica

Related: Aereo Tv News

Reader comments

U.S. Supreme Court rules that Aereo violates copyright law

1 Comment

This really seems like a "no duh!" decision. I'm really surprised anyone would invest as much into a scheme like this as Aereo clearly already has.

Would anyone invest in a company that intended to compete with Red Box and their plan was to buy one copy of each movie's DVD, then rip it and burn copies to rent out to all their customers (and pay no royalties)?