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Aereo vs. TV networks case will be heard by the Supreme Court

Richard Lawler, @Rjcc
January 10, 2014
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Aereo launched its service that makes over-the-air TV available over the internet back in 2012, and quickly faced a lawsuit from big media companies (ABC, Fox, CBS and others) claiming it's illegally distributing their content. Today, the Supreme Court announced it will hear the case, titled ABC, Inc., v. Aereo, Inc. (docket 13-461). Other than Aereo's fledgling service, at stake is the ability of broadcasters to charge pay-TV companies for the right to carry their signals. If Aereo wins, there have been indications that cable/satellite services might buy it or build their own version, cutting the broadcasters out of a large sum of cash.

Both sides have pushed for a decision by the Supreme Court, and Aereo just released a statement saying "We remain unwavering in our confidence that Aereo's technology falls squarely within the law." Aereo and others like Cablevision have suggested this case is critical for the cloud computing an cloud storage industry, as well as tools like DVRs. According to Bloomberg, going by the court's schedule it should hear the case in April and rule on it by early July. If the case doesn't go their way, some major TV execs like Les Moonves have suggested an approach akin to taking their ball and going home. Last spring he stated CBS could switch to cable-only distribution in "a few days," -- if the Supreme Court upholds several lower court decisions in Aereo's favor, we could find out soon how serious of a threat that is.

In this article: abc, aereo, barrydiller, cbs, fox, hdpostcross, lawsuit, nbc
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