Aereo to 'pause' service following Supreme Court ruling in favor of networks

By Daniel Levine,

Aereo announced on Saturday that it will put a temporary hold on its services following the damaging Supreme Court ruling on Wednesday. The Court ruled in favor of the major broadcast networks, deciding that the startup service is in fact violating copyright laws.

In a statement to customers, Aereo CEO/founder Chet Kanojia wrote that the company will try to “pause” its service until it decides what the next step is.

“We have decided to pause our operations temporarily as we consult with the court and map out our next steps,” Kanojia wrote. “You will be able to access your cloud-based antenna and DVR only until 11:30 a.m. ET today.”

Kanojia added that customers will get their last monthly payment refunded and anyone with questions can reach the company at support[at]aereo.com or on Twitter at @AereoSupport.

Later, Kanojia again reiterated what Aereo has been arguing since ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC took them to court. The company believes that its system is just another way for consumers to access the free, public airwaves. However, the networks disagreed, especially since Aereo did allow customers to have DVR storage. Aereo also didn’t pay the networks the licensing fees to carry their content, like the cable and satellite providers do.

The Supreme Court favored the networks in a 6-3 decision. In his immediate response, Kanojia called the ruling a “chilling message to the technology industry.”

As for major investor Barry Diller, he said that the fight is over after the ruling. “It's not a big [financial] loss for us, but I do believe blocking this technology is a big loss for consumers, and beyond that I only salute Chet Kanojia and his band of Aereo'lers for fighting the good fight,” the media mogul told CNBC, Wednesday.

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