With a new Supreme Court ruling on the books, things are looking awfully grim for Aereo and all those tiny, cloud-friendly antennas it controls. That's why CEO Chet Kanojia has temporarily turned off the television streaming service, and that's why he's asking for help. The beleaguered startup sent out an open letter encouraging all of us to email, tweet, and otherwise petition our land's leaders to defend the right to use a "modern antenna located in the cloud" to watch all that free over-the-air content.
"Today, I'm asking you to raise your hands and make your voices heard," Kanojia wrote. "Tell your lawmakers how disappointed you are that the nation's highest court issued a decision that could deny you the right to use the antenna of your choice to access live over-the-air broadcast television."In case you somehow missed it, the Supremes overturned a lower court's decision in Aereo's favor last week. The crux of that decision held that Aereo streaming broadcast television to computers, phone and tablets constituted a public performance in violation of the Copyright Act of 1976. The move must've been a crushing one, especially considering just how strongly Kanojia seemed to belive the Supreme Court would see things his way. Some of that sheer confidence must've just been business-boosting bluster, but the worst case scenario has come to pass and Aereo has been keeping quiet about what its next steps are going to be. Is it going to shut down for good? Or will it enact some dramatic business model changes to stay afloat? The Aereo that comes back may be a totally different beast indeed, and that friends is a damned shame.