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Aereo Sues to Stop Being Sued

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Aereo LogoThings just aren’t looking good for Aereo these days. CBS and Fox have both filed lawsuits, and even threatened to pull their signals from over the air broadcast entirely if Aereo continues to be allowed to run its antenna-rental business by the courts. CBS has recently started upping the ante, suing the company in each new market it moves into.

So to prevent “court shopping,” Aereo has sued to get CBS to stop filing lawsuits against them. Via The Verge:

“Last year, the trial court denied CBS and the other broadcasters’ request for a preliminary injunction against Aereo,” Aereo said in a statement. “Last month, the appeals court affirmed that decision. The fact that CBS did not prevail in their efforts to enjoin Aereo in their existing federal lawsuit does not entitle them to a do-over in another jurisdiction. We are hopeful that any such efforts to commence duplicative lawsuits to try to seek a different outcome will be rejected by the courts.”

Since Aereo isn’t paying re-transmission fees, and since its system is currently incompatible with Nielsen, this represents a potential boatload of lost revenues for the broadcast networks, and sets the stage for more Cablevision-style lawsuits in the “if they don’t have to, why should we” category. Personally I think Aereo is going to eventually be found to be a re-transmitter, since the company is re-compressing the OTA broadcasts into lightweight internet/phone friendly streams. Maybe if the system were sending the raw 12+mbps MPEG-2 streams from the antenna over the net, its founders would have a better leg to stand on, but that’s not the case. The second Aereo does anything to the signal, it changes the legal game completely. Call my cynical, and I hope I’m wrong, but I’m pretty sure that’s eventually going to be the view of the courts, as well, no matter how many preemptive suits Aereo files.

Via: [The Verge]

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