Feeds

Court refuses to block Aereo's personal streaming TV service

Networks seek to stifle Big Apple sapling

Build a business case: developing custom apps

The New York Second Circuit Court of Appeals has refused a request by the big networks to shutter the TV streaming service Aereo set up by billionaire media mogul Barry Diller.

Aereo used thousands of tiny antennas at its base station in Brooklyn to pick up TV signals and either store or stream them directly to subscribers in New York who pay $80 a year to watch on their smartphones and tablets. Using individual antennas enables the company to get around paying licensing fees to the networks for streaming – or so the company has been arguing – because it provides a one-on-one link up.

Because of the technical limitations of such a strategy, the service is available only in New York – but, not surprisingly, the TV networks are fighting back. A combined suit by 17 TV stations sought to block the service within a week of its launch.

They chose to fight the case on the principle that the service was a public broadcast, but the court rejected this argument. Now, by a 2-1 margin, the appeals court has upheld that verdict. The network's legal eagles will now be looking to refine their strategy to kill off the service.

"Today's ruling to uphold Judge Nathan's decision sends a powerful message that consumer access to free-to-air broadcast television is still meaningful in this country and that the promise and commitment made by the broadcasters to act in the public interest in exchange for the public's spectrum, remains an important part of our American fabric," said Chet Kanojia, Aereo CEO in a statement.

"We may be a small start-up, but we've always believed in standing up and fighting for our consumers," he said. "We are grateful for the court's thoughtful analysis and decision and we look forward to continuing to build a successful business that puts consumers first."

Aereo's system of using racks of multiple antennas, each the size of a dime, isn't particularly efficient, but does have the advantage of providing a form of legal cloak for the service. It's backed by the billionaire former boss of Paramount and Fox Barry Diller, a man who knows a thing or six about the ins and outs of the TV business.

The company now plans to expand its footprint outside of the Big Apple, with another 22 cities planned to receive services. The legal battle isn't done yet, but so far it looks as though a nifty technical fix is protecting the company against litigation from content providers. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Assange™: Hey world, I'M STILL HERE, ignore that Snowden guy
Press conference: ME ME ME ME ME ME ME (cont'd pg 94)
Premier League wants to PURGE ALL FOOTIE GIFs from social media
Not paying Murdoch? You're gonna get a right LEGALLING - thanks to automated software
Online tat bazaar eBay coughs to YET ANOTHER outage
Web-based flea market struck dumb by size and scale of fail
Amazon takes swipe at PayPal, Square with card reader for mobes
Etailer plans to undercut rivals with low transaction fee offer
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
US regulators OK sale of IBM's x86 server biz to Lenovo
Now all that remains is for gov't offices to ban the boxes
XBOX One will learn to play media from USB and DLNA sources
Hang on? Aren't those file formats you hardly ever see outside torrents?
Class war! Wikipedia's workers revolt again
Bourgeois paper-shufflers have 'suspended democracy', sniff unpaid proles
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.