Supreme Court Rules Aereo Is Illegal

    David Frederick, outside counsel with Aereo Inc., center, speaks to the media with Chet Kanojia, chief executive officer of Aereo Inc., left, and Brenda Cotter, general counsel with Aereo Inc., right, following oral arguments by Aereo Inc. and American Broadcasting Companies Inc. at the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, April 22, 2014. U.S. Supreme Court justices questioned the legality of Aereo Inc., the Barry Diller-backed startup aiming to upend the broadcast industry's decades-old business model by selling live television programming over the Internet. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images


    The Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that Aereo, the company that uses antennas to deliver over-the-air broadcasts for its customers, is violating copyright law, in a 6-3 decision. Justices Scalia, Thomas, and Alito dissented. Aereo was accused by broadcast companies of illegally retransmitting their programs without paying for them, while Aereo claimed that it was not covered by laws regarding the public performance of copyrighted works. Aereo is backed by Barry Diller, the chairman of The Daily Beast’s parent company, IAC. According to Scotusblog, the court decided “behind-the-scenes technological differences do not distinguish Aereo’s system from cable systems, which do perform publicly.” Aereo CEO Chet Kanojia said in a statement that the ruling is a “massive setback for the American consumer” and asked: “Are we moving towards a permission-based system for technology innovation?”

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