Aereo welcomes fight with networks at the Supreme Court

By Daniel S Levine,

Aereo, the online television streaming service, said that it welcomes a fight with the major networks at the Supreme Court to settle the dispute once and for all.

The service offers online streaming of free over-the-air broadcasts at low prices, plus the ability to DVR shows. Aereo has argued that the service is just another way for Americans to access the free, public broadcasts.

But, since Aereo doesn’t pay the networks the same licensing fees the cable companies do, the networks have argued that the service is violation of copyrights. ABC, Fox, CBS and NBC have already brought the cast to court, but have lost appeal after appeal. Two months ago, they petitioned the Supreme Court to make a decision.

Now Aereo has decided to let the case go to court, if the Supreme Court chooses to hear the case. “We have decided to not oppose the broadcasters’ petition for certiorari before the United States Supreme Court,” CEO Chet Kanojia said in a brief, reports Deadline. “While the law is clear and the Second Circuit Court of Appeals and two different federal courts have ruled in favor of Aereo, broadcasters appear determined to keep litigating the same issues against Aereo in every jurisdiction that we enter. We want this resolved on the merits rather than through a wasteful war of attrition.”

In short, Aereo would like to see the Supreme Court have the final say in the case. The broadcasters are specifically asking the Supreme Court to look at the April decision made by U.S. Courts of Appeals in New York to deny an injunction against Aereo. Fox and CBS have been particularly vocal on their distaste for Aereo existing, even threatening to go off the air.

Even as the fight continues in court, Aereo has continued to expand beyond New York. TheWrap notes that it recently announced a launch date for Baltimore. It is already available in Boston, Atlanta, Salt Lake City, Miami, Dallas, Houston, Detroit and Denver.

image: Aereo


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