News

Supreme Court rules against online TV company Aereo

Supreme Court rules against online TV company Aereo

AEREO TV:Chet Kanojia, the founder and CEO of Aereo, speaks during an interview. Photo: Associated Press

By Lawrence Hurley

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled that online TV service Aereo Inc, backed by media mogul Barry Diller, violates copyright law by using tiny antennas to provide subscribers with broadcast network content via the Internet.

On a 6-3 vote, the court handed a victory to the four major TV broadcasters and cast Aereo’s immediate future into doubt.

The court said the service constitutes a public performance of copyrighted content. For the networks, the victory protects the estimated $3 billion in so-called retransmission fees that broadcasters get from cable and satellite TV systems.

Justice Stephen Breyer said in the majority opinion that the ruling should not spell trouble for cloud-based content services in which personal files – including TV shows and music – are stored remotely on the Internet on servers from companies such as Google Inc, Microsoft Corp, DropBox Inc and Box Inc.

Aereo had argued that cloud services use the Internet in the same way as it does to store and transfer copyrighted content.

The case came before the court when Walt Disney Co’s ABC network, CBS Corp, Comcast Corp’s NBCUniversal and Twenty-First Century Fox Inc appealed a decision by the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in April 2013 that denied their request to shut Aereo down while litigation moves forward.

Aereo, backed by Barry Diller’s IAC/InterActiveCorp, charges users a low monthly fee to watch live or recorded broadcast TV channels on computers or mobile devices. Aereo does not pay the broadcasters.

(Reporting by Lawrence Hurley; Editing by Howard Goller and WIll DUNham)

Latest Headlines

10 mins ago in Sports

Congressman charges NFL with wrongdoing

Fresh
pallone1614461738670

A senior House Democrat has found that National Football League officials improperly sought to influence a government study on the link between football and brain disease.

28 mins ago in Sports

Tom Brady continues his fight with NFL

Fresh
25-overlay-6

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady on Monday asked a U.S. appeals court to reconsider its ruling reinstating his "Deflategate" four-game suspension, saying the decision runs contrary to federal labor law.

39 mins ago in Music

Ozzy gets a train

Fresh
ozzy420467453452

The rocker is to have a Midland Metro tram named after him in his native Birmingham, England, and Ozzy will meet the caboose on Thursday.

44 mins ago in Sports

Pavelski, Ward carry Sharks within a win of finals

Fresh
sharksbluesREUTERS

Joe Pavelski scored his second goal of the game 16 seconds into the third period as the San Jose Sharks beat the St. Louis Blues 6-3 on Monday to put them one win away from their first Stanley Cup finals.

53 mins ago in Sports

Raptors hold off Cavs, even East finals at 2-2

Fresh
16-overlay-7

Kyle Lowry scored 35 points and DeMar DeRozan added 32 as the Toronto Raptors defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers 105-99 on Monday to tie the Eastern Conference finals at two wins each.