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Aereo’s Internet TV Service Violates Copyright Law

On Tuesday, the United States Supreme Court overturned the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and ruled against Aereo in the matter of American Broadcasting Cos. v. Aereo, Inc.

Aereo is an internet TV service company that nearly simultaneously broadcasts individual cable TV programs by saving these programs to their servers and then allowing its paid subscribers to stream these shows. Aereo did not own any copyrights or possess any licenses to broadcast the copyrighted programs being streamed to its subscribers.

The question presented to the Court was “whether Aereo infringes the Copyright Act by selling its subscribers a technologically complex service that allows them to watch television programs over the Internet at about the same time as the programs are broadcast over the air.” American Broadcasting Cos. v. Aereo, Inc.

Justice Breyer writing for the majority held that Aereo’s services are similar to that of a traditional cable company; as a result, their conduct violated the Copyright Act. This decision effectively terminates Aereo’s current internet TV services.

If you’re interested in reading the case, click this link: http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/13pdf/13-461_l537.pdf