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Aereo strikes out in Utah, preliminary injunction shuts down local service

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All good things come to an end: despite largely winning the war over its right to rebroadcast OTA TV signals over the internet, Aereo just lost its first major battle. The US District Court of Utah has granted a preliminary injunction against the service, effectively halting the company's expansion in the area. The decision teetered over what the court calls the "balance of harm," with each company claiming that the other's actions could irreparably damage its business in a significant way. Undeterred by Aereo's insistence that an injunction would devastate its own business, the court ruled in the favor of Fox Broadcasting's concerns over copyright infringement -- arguing that the potential damage to Aereo doesn't outweigh the damage it might cause to its opponent. As consolation, however, the court pointed out that the injunction only applies to the jurisdiction of the Tenth Circuit and will only curtail the company's expansion, not put it out of business.

The decision is far from the final word on Aereo -- that's still up to the bigwigs at the US Supreme Court -- but it is the company's first major legal stumble since launching in 2012. It's definitely a step back, but company CEO Chet Kanojia seems ready to fight. "We are extremely disappointed that the District Court in Utah has chosen to take a different path than every other Court that has reviewed the Aereo technology," he told the Consumerist. "We are very sorry for the effect on our valued customers in the Tenth Circuit and we will pursue all available remedies to restore their ability to use Aereo." Check out the court's full decision after the break.

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