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Aereo Heads to the Supreme Court

Sections: Streaming, Video

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Tired of mucking around with the lower courts, the major networks, including NBC, ABC, CBS, Fox, Univision, and more have filed a 200-page brief asking the Supreme Court to make a ruling that will either allow Aereo to keep running or shut it down for good. The plaintiffs state their case:

“The issue here is simply too consequential to allow the Second Circuit to operate with a different set of copyright rules from those envisioned by Congress and operative in the rest of the Nation,” the companies wrote. “This Court’s review is needed now.”

Supreme Court of the United StatesThe issue at heart, according to the brief, is whether re-broadcast over the interwebs constitutes “public performance” of the shows.  An interesting tactic, but one more likely to hold up in the long run with Time Warner’s powerful lawyers lobbying the FCC to kill retransmission fees. Not only would such a ruling undermine  Time Warner, but anyone else trying variations on the theme.

Personally, given the patterns of the existing court, I’m not optimistic fo Aereo’s chances. The broadcasters have four Justices in the bag to start with, and Kennedy typically rules in favor of large corporations.While the power of Aereo co-founder Barry Diller may have an unusual amount of pull, if I were him I’d be offering a settlement that allowed me to offer some of the basic cable channels attached to these networks for whatever the broadcasters want to charge. Should the Supreme Court agree to hear the case, it would likely go before the bench next year.

Via: [The Hill]

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