Aereo wins partial victory in broadcasters' suit

May 22, 2012

(AP) -- Aereo, a startup that takes live TV broadcasts and sends them to mobile devices in New York for a monthly fee, has won a partial victory in court over the media companies that are suing it.

U.S. Alison Nathan in New York dismissed one of three claims made by a group of broadcast companies, including News Corp.'s Fox, PBS and others in a ruling released Monday.

Nathan dismissed the claim of unfair competition, saying it was pre-empted by the Copyright Act.

Two claims of copyright infringement remain in the Fox-led suit as does a separate copyright lawsuit that includes ABC, CBS and NBC as plaintiffs. A hearing on a preliminary injunction for both suits begins May 30.

The broadcasters have argued that Aereo is copying and retransmitting their programming over the Internet unlawfully. Aereo contends that by assigning miniature antennas to each of its users, it is providing legal access to free over-the-air broadcasts.

An Aereo spokeswoman declined to comment.

A spokesman for News Corp.'s Fox said the judge's dismissal of the unfair competition was on "technical grounds" and didn't affect the merit of the copyright claim.

"We look forward to our day in court to prove that Aereo's unauthorized streaming of our content constitutes copyright infringement," the spokesman said in a statement.

CBS Corp. said in a statement that the ruling "should have no bearing on the core claim that Aereo is clearly violating the plain language of the copyright law."

The case is being closely watched because of the precedent it could set. Broadcasters owned by The ., . and . have deals to collect hundreds of millions of dollars annually from cable and for the right to retransmit their signals to subscribers.

Such signals are also available freely using an antenna, but most pay for service through a provider. If Aereo's service is found not to infringe on broadcasters' copyrights, it could upend a system that has created a profitable new revenue stream for media companies.

Explore further: Review: 2015 Chevy Colorado pickup comes with a side of Wi-Fi

0 shares

Related Stories

Startup sends live local TV to the iPhone

Feb 17, 2012

(AP) -- A startup backed by media billionaire Barry Diller has launched a service that sends live local TV feeds to iPhones and iPads. But the service may be short-lived, since TV stations are likely to challenge ...

Court bars streaming of TV programming online

Feb 22, 2011

(AP) -- In a key victory for television broadcasters, a federal court has ordered a Seattle start-up called ivi Inc. to stop distributing broadcast signals over the Internet without their consent.

Fox joins broadcasters in blocking Google TV link

Nov 11, 2010

(AP) -- News Corp.'s Fox has joined broadcasters ABC, CBS and NBC in blocking access to full episodes of shows when searched from Google TV's Web browser, according to a person at Fox familiar with the matter.

Broadcasters 'misunderstand' Google TV, exec says

Nov 02, 2010

Attempts by broadcasters to seek payment for allowing their online video to be viewed through Google Inc.'s new Web-connected TV platform represents a "misunderstanding" of what it is, a Google executive said Tuesday.

Recommended for you

DARPA seeks new positioning, navigation, timing solutions

Mar 28, 2015

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), writing about GPS, said: "The military relies heavily on the Global Positioning System (GPS) for positioning, navigation, and timing (PNT), but GPS access is easily blocked by methods such as jamming. In addition, many environments in which our mil ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.