Aereo begins fight-back with cable company recognition
Editor | 10 July 2014
After its recent crushing blow whereby the US Supreme Court ruled it had violated broadcasters' copyright, leading to it suspending its service, Aereo has begun its fight-back, petitioning the courts to be classified as a cable company.
After poring through the United States Supreme Court's ruling on 25 June, the over-the-top (OTT) provider has filed a letter with the lower court trying to be reclassified as a cable company in order to stay in operation.
Such a move would ironically take advantage of the view of a majority of the judges who regarded the OTT service as acting like a cable company and thus liable to such companies' terms of operation when it came to copyright. In its petition, the company argues that the Supreme Court's decision "automatically transformed Aereo into a cable system under Section 111 [of the US Copyright Act] given its prior statements" and asked for a stay of the 25 June judgement to stay in business.
The petition added: "if Aereo is a cable system as that term is defined in the Copyright Act, it is eligible for a statutory licence, and its transmission may not be enjoined (preliminary or otherwise) ... The Supreme court's holding that Aereo is a cable system under the Copyright Act is significant because as a cable system Aereo is now entitled to the benefits of a statutory licence pursuant to the Copyright Act."
Commenting after this latest move, Aereo CEO Chet Kanojia, said: "From the beginning, it has been our mission to build a lawful technology that would provide consumers with more choice and alternatives in how they watch television ... We believed that providing an innovative cloud-based individual antenna would provide consumers with a convenient way to use an antenna to watch the live, free-to-air signals broadcast over public spectrum that belongs to them .. .This has been a challenging journey for our team, but your support has continued to lift and propel us forward. We remain committed to building great technologies that create real, meaningful alternatives for consumers."