Aereo allowed users to stream television shows from wireless devices.

Television broadcasters prevail in copyright suit against Aereo

June 26, 2014 5:27 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Previously, we talked about the case that would be going before the U.S. Supreme Court involving online video startup Aereo and television networks that believed the company to be infringing on their intellectual property.

Aereo allowed users to use a remote antenna to watch streaming television from their wireless devices. The issue at hand was whether the use of these transmissions could be considered public or private. Various states were disputing the use of this service, and the case ended up going before the Supreme Court. 

The Supreme Court recently ruled that Aereo was in fact stealing content from television broadcasters, according to an article in the New York Times. The ruling was 6-3 siding with the broadcasters. Broadcasters worried that they would lose revenue from retransmission fees due to Aereo's service, which skirted around the fees. 

"Aereo's system is, for all practical purposes, identical to a cable system," wrote Justice Stephen Breyer for the majority, according to USA Today. "Both use their own equipment. Both receive broadcast television programs, many of which are copyrighted. Both enable subscribers to watch those programs virtually as they are being broadcast."

Broadcasters believed that Aereo was a threat to their business. In intellectual property cases, when one party steals works from another party, it has the potential to cause a great deal of financial damage, making it essential that businesses protect these assets. The ruling on this case may result in Aereo being put out of business. 

As USA Today notes, there was concern that this ruling could impact the cloud computing industry. However, the Supreme Court justices advised companies in this industry not to worry. 

Businesses wondering how copyright law may be affecting their venture can contact a Phoenix, AZ small business attorney to learn more.

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