Supreme Court Rules Aereo Is Illegal

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?”