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Aereo comes up with new plan to stay alive: joining the old system

By Daniel S Levine,

Aereo once tried to blaze a new trail for television technology, streaming free over-the-air broadcasts online and giving subscribers full access to television for as little as $8 a month. Now that the Supreme Court ruled that everything it argued for is illegal and violates copyrights, Aereo has come up with a new plan - following the old system that still rules cable.

That would mean paying the same high licensing fees to the networks that cable and satellite providers pay. In addition, subscribers would likely have to pay a lot more than just $8 monthly.

As Forbes points out, in the Court’s 6-3 decision, the judges found that Aereo’s service was very similar to a traditional cable company. With that in mind, Aereo - which had been arguing since its existence that it wasn’t like cable - is now arguing that it is.

Aereo made the drastic change in a letter to U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan of the Southern District of New York, who is now handling the case, reports The LA Times. Aereo now believes that since it is like a cable company, if it just starts paying licensing fees, it can continue to exist.

“Aereo is proceeding to file the necessary statements of account and royalty fees,” the letter to Nathan reads in part.

Aereo has paused its service since the Court ruling last month.

What still hangs in the balance here is the fact that the FCC still hasn’t recognized Aereo and similar over-the-top Internet devices as something like a cable system. That means that they are not regulated like traditional means of getting TV. If the Supreme Court says that Aereo is like a cable system (and therefore, systems like Aereo), the FCC will probably have to consider rules on these devices.

 
 

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