Aereo gets broadcasters unfair competition claim dismissed, still faces federal wrath for copyright infringement

Aereo's mini-antenna arrays started streaming OTA television broadcasts in Gotham a couple months ago in spite of the lawsuit filed by a few of New York's local stations to stop them from doing so. Today, it was able to dismiss its opponents' state law unfair competition claim under the theory of federal preemption. Essentially, Aereo argued (and the judge agreed) that the anti-competition claim was actually an attempt to vindicate the broadcasters' rights to control the performance of their copyrighted materials. Because those rights are granted under federal law, the state law claim was preempted and dismissed from the lawsuit pursuant to the Copyright Act. Despite this courtroom victory, Aereo still has a lot of legal legwork to do, as it still faces two copyright claims that could still shut down the OTA streaming party. Stay tuned.