Skip to comments.Supreme Court Issues 'Sweeping And Definitive' Ruling Against Aereo In Huge Copyright Case
Posted on 06/25/2014 7:21:23 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
The Supreme Court ruling on Aereo is out, and the court has ruled against the upstart company and in favor of TV broadcasters. In a 6-3 decision, the Supreme Court reversed a lower court decision that had ruled in favor of Aero, a service that lets you stream live network TV.
The court found that Aereo's service violated the copyrights of live network TV stations.
"This ruling appears sweeping and definitive, determining that Aereo is illegal," the lawyer Tom Goldstein wrote on SCOTUSBlog.
The case will have lasting implications for the way content is delivered online.
Aereo's technology uses special HD antennas that are about the size of a thumbnail to pull in broadcast TV from the airwaves. The signal is then transferred over the internet to your device.
Copyright law generally allows you to seek permission before broadcasting a public performance. In arguing that its service was legal, Aereo said the TV broadcasts counted as private performances because they were broadcast through individual antennas into people's homes.
(Excerpt) Read more at businessinsider.com ...
Yeah! The court is getting them right this term. Now as long as they rule for Holly Lobby, I will be very impressed with the Supremes in 2014.
Someone needs to help me out with this one. If I put one of their antennae on my television, then could I watch the programming that that antenna picked up? I would guess that I could. So, then what if I had a wifi device that took that signal from the TV and sent it to all my other devices in my house. Did the Supreme Court just rule that such an arrangement would violate copyright laws?
this is a ridiculous ruling..
OK, I get how rebroadcasting without paying for the original material is a violation and harmful to the broadcaster (assuming changes are made or advertising added), but if the broadcast signal is simply being captured and repeated via the Internet (inclusive of commercials), I'm trying to identify any damage to the broadcaster.
yes it’s means anytime you pick up a signal and change to a different medium to tranport... the ruling it is a copyright violation.
I was part of the MAI Basic 4- Prime copyright case back in the 80’s.... look it up ....the court ruled that when you load a program from your hard drive into memory on your computer that was a copyright violation...
So if I want to back up my favorite DVDs and make a copy on my computer, I’m violating copyright? Even though the only user of the material is me, the original purchaser?
So if I have an outdoor antenna and an amplified distribution system in my house, that would be a copyright violation?
Suppose you buy some commercial time on your local TV station, and you pay pretty good chunk of change, since you go after a certain demographic.. and all of your shops are in a 50-75 mile area.. plus, your commercials are all in prime time. Joe Six pack half way across the county hooked up to Aereo is not ripping you off as much as Aereo is they are stealing the program your sponsoring! Theft of Service.
Damn. The monopolies win again.
Thanks, but that seems to imply that taping a program on an old VCR tape is also a violation. I thought that was settled long ago in favor of private use.
how is this different then a vcr ?
A vcr shifts the viewing of your ad in time..this shifted the viewing of your ad in location....what would have more impact on your??.
Time shifting of viewing (vcr) vs location adding of viewing (this product)
I shift your local customer seeing you ad in time and they miss that time window to do business with you.. they can not call back in time and order...you lose a local sale.
I add a physical location seeing your ad outside of your market i did nothing to stop viewing in you intended place and time..I only added viewers..and the only impact to you is you might gain an extra customer calling on you from outside your market.
FReepmail me to subscribe to or unsubscribe from the SCOTUS ping list.
lets take one thing for example..slingbox.. is you having and using a slingbox now illegal?
They tried this with VCR’s and eventually lost. Now they block you from recording in hi def as they require manufacturers to remove the hdmi out from recorders. You get 480 instead. There are ways around this but it was made difficult so the content providers can have control and limit your choice of device.
You have ISP companies like Comcast restricting the amount of data because they know you will cut the cord and just use internet to view tv shows. They are charging more and more money for just internet when the price should be going down.
Example is cellphone tethering (view on bigger computer screen). You can have unlimited data on the phone but the cellphone companies with either not allow tethering or restrict you. I have T-Mobile and their $30 plan. If I tether they will pop up a screen saying pay them more....
I use PDAnet to hide the tethering.
Now if I'm in Chicago watching local Jacksonville TV, the Chicago broadcaster might suffer from a decreased audience and therefore, the mother network might be able to get less from their Chicago affiliate, but that would be offset by the increase in viewing for Jacksonville. So the network is cost neutral.
Also, if I am watching local Jacksonville programming while in Chicago, it would likely be based on a tie I have to Jacksonville (maybe I'm a business traveler), so I really would be the target audience for that broadcast.
Is it a copy-write infringement to read a book to a room full of kids? What if I do it over Skype?
Again, it seems that the issue would not be copy-write, but rather monetary damages, which would apply from collecting fees, selling additional advertising, or deleting existing advertising.
That's not the way Areeo works (er, worked). In their business model you "buy" an antenna that's hosted in some warehouse they own, and the signal received on that antenna is stored and available to you over the internet. It's essentially a way to pick up non-local programming through what Aereo thought was a loophole in the copyright laws.
This seems to be par-for-course these days.
Good look in the mirror for bad logic. With your logic why should cable companies pay to carry over the air content.. it’s free... and the cable company sells it to its subscribers. IMHO, your arguments are filled with fallacies.
“Again sticking with the rebroadcast presumption, its hard to make a case for monetary damages deriving from increasing the size of a broadcast audience, no matter its location.”
The problem for the nets isn’t increasing the size of the broadcast audience — the problem is Aereo is charging that bigger audience for the signal. And the networks are barred by law from doing the same thing.
The premise is the American people own the broadcast airwaves. And you need a license from the People to broadcast over their bandwidth. Broadcasters get exclusive use of a place on the bandwidth — but they can never, ever, EVER charge the American people to access that signal. If they try to charge for it, the FCC will yank their license.
What the nets are sore about is that Aereo is making money doing what they’re not allowed to do: charge for “over the airwaves” broadcasting.
Their “damages” are not getting a cut of the money Aereo is making. Their logic: if we can’t charge for sending something out over the airwaves, then nobody can.
This is a dumb decision by a court too old to have to bear the burden of their own decision.
Concur, as I stated, but that is a matter of business practice, not the procedure of resending the signal.
But then there is the NFL, that does require you to pay them a fee for a broadcast game, if you allow more than a certain number of people to view it in one venue (doesn't matter if you charge or not).
The networks do charge for access to programming when they put it on the Internet, they just don't have to capture it from a broadcast.
Then when cable companies started in a good OTA coverage area..the cable company were required (must carry) to include the OTA in the area on the cable..but then still no charge to the cable company by the OTA
Its only with "retransmission consent" in the 1992 CATV Consumer Protection and Competition Act, that and OTA broadcaster could charge a cable company and so therefor block it by charging more then the cable company was willing to pay..
But oddely if the OTA did not charge the cable company then the cable must carry the OTA....odd... and the cable companies and consumers have been fight that for years paying for "free" OTA broadcast
But this is still individual broadcaster..if your an OTA broadcaster in the area, cable must carry you unless the OTA wants to charge for it..
So and OTA can not put a cable company out of business..
It can only ask for a fee for a cable company to carry.. so if the cable if it does not carry because the ota wants a fee..>p>Then the Cable and OTA are in competition for your viewing and business...
One cannot go into court and put the other out of business. .
So what happen to day is the equal of an OTA broadcaster making cable tv illegal technology in the US ..
you just have to put in a notch filter to filter out my broadcast if i request it
Of course the networks charge consumers for cable/internet/satellite dish access. They license their programming to outside providers, or they themselves get into the (other than airwaves broadcast) transmission business, for which they charge a fee.
But that’s not my point. My point is the networks are not allowed to charge the American people for their BROADCAST signal. Aereo was charging for that, and that’s why the nets went to court.
You also see the irony of posting on this copyright thread from a Business Insider story reposted on Free Republic?... See LA Time vs Free Republic...
How does AEREO charging for the use of their antenna hardware and software (in order to capture the broadcast on a computer), differ from renting an antenna and digital TV from a company?
Because the Aereo antenna actually capturing the broadcast isn’t at your house — it’s at an Aereo data center.
And the flip side of American broadcast airwaves licensing (must be free to the public) is that no third party can charge to show the content of that broadcast either.
So the nets argued that Aereo was rebroadcasting the fruits of their free signal and charging for it.
You know how sports bars can’t (legally) charge people an entrance fee and show the big game on CBS? It’s because they’re charging a fee for what is by federal regulation supposed to be a free broadcast.
The nets convinced the Supremes that Aereo is doing the same thing as a sports bar.
Where is the “broad” in broadcast?
Nevermind, I see it now ... it isn’t your antenna in your house, it is broad or multicast retransmission. OK
The Court manages to reach the opposite conclusion only by disregarding widely accepted rules for service-provider liability and adopting in their place an improvised standard (”looks-like-cable-TV) that will sow confusion for years to come. - Scalia.
He nails it. I wouldn’t, as a matter of course, want to be on the winning side with Breyer or Ginsburg. Did you see Roberts over there in the majority?
What Roberts and Kennedy stand for is the status quo elites.
The elitist who nominated Roberts must have known what he was getting. It's a good thing the rank and file stood up to the Harriet Miers near disaster.
The idea that broadcasts are “free” to watch once they hit the airwaves is not exactly hard law. Look at all of the restrictions placed on NFL games. And the issue is not charging to watch them, but rather just showing them.
If I get too many friends together to watch an NFL game on a screen larger than 55”, all of a sudden its a copyright infringement.
There have been attempts by Big Media to prohibit leaping past commercials on DVR devices.
Hell, they helped "kill" the new "vcr". I had once upon a time a DVR device with a built in tv schedule (free over air from TV Guide) and a DVD-R recorder (with great editing capabilities).
Panasonic took them off the market (at least in the US) and offers NO repair support for them.
Now you can either get a DVR device or a DVD recorder, but not in the same box.
Hollywood HATED losing the Sony Betamax decision.
“The idea that broadcasts are free to watch once they hit the airwaves is not exactly hard law.”
Yes, it is. It’s a hard and fast rule the FCC has never wavered on, even with the rise of cable and dish services that allowed others to charge for a signal, which had the networks tearing their hair out. “We want to charge for our broadcasts, too!”
Well, you can’t, networks. The FCC has never wavered on this: the networks are renters, who hold scarce and valuable broadcast licenses, at the pleasure of the American people. And the terms of the lease state that the networks can’t charge a fee to anyone who picks up their signal with an antenna and watches their programming.
In exchange for a monopoly on a frequency and the freedom to sell ads, the courts enforce prohibitions against exhibitors charging a fee to broadcast a network signal — hence the war on sports bars charging to show NFL games. The signal itself must remain “free.”
Aereo was charging a fee to capture and rebroadcast the signal. All of this was couched in “copyright violation” language, but that’s what happened.
It matters not to the NFL whether you charge or not. If your screen is too big you can't allow other people to watch it, and you can't have more than a few people watching a small screen.
I'm not saying you are wrong about the broadcast rules in general, I'm just pointing out that the NFL has a special drug deal going on.
I see your point re the NFL special deal. They work hand-in-glove with the networks, who can only get this nonsense enforced because they’re pushing past the terms of their broadcast license when they go after people having a big-screen viewing party in their home.
Networks/NFL: “Yeah, the signal is free... but you’re enjoying it TOO much! So you should be paying us!”
What kind of argument is that? Surprised the courts have bought into it... but I work in television, and this industry (along with movies) has some of the most effective, gun-slinging killer lobbyists at work on its behalf in all of D.C. Generally they get whatever legislation and regulation they want. Nobody lobbies for the people.
I’m surprised the FCC and Congress have managed to hold the line so long on keeping the broadcast airwaves free.
If 25 people stay home and watch on their respective TVs that’s OK? But if they meet at one place with no admission charge and have a party that’s not?
The rules are in US Code Title 17, Chapter 1, Section 110. Easily Google-able. This section is called “Limitations on exclusive rights: exemption of certain performances and displays.”
“(A) except as provided in subparagraph (B), communication of a transmission embodying a performance or display of a work by the public reception of the transmission on a single receiving apparatus of a kind commonly used in private homes, unless
(i) a direct charge is made to see or hear the transmission; or
(ii) the transmission thus received is further transmitted to the public;”
I’m not a lawyer! But I think what the code means is that it’s okay to have people over to a “private home” to watch the game on a big-screen, as long as you’re not charging them.
What do you think?
Just don’t want ppv swat team knocking during boxing
Maybe park your dog at the neighbor’s till the match is over...
taking out a life policy on fido
Seems to be an anomaly in a world that otherwise has no respect for intellectual property rights.