Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Supreme Court Rules Against #Aereo Streaming TV Service

At Ars Technica, "Supreme Court puts Aereo out of business," and the Los Angeles Times, "Supreme Court rules against upstart Aereo TV service in copyright case."

Also at the New York Times, "Aereo Loses at Supreme Court, in Victory for TV Broadcasters":
WASHINGTON — Aereo made an all-or-nothing bet. The digital start-up threatened to upend the media industry and transform the way people watch television.

It likely will end up with nothing.

In a case with far-reaching implications for the entertainment and technology business, the United States Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday that Aereo, a television streaming service, had violated copyright laws by capturing broadcast signals on miniature antennas and delivering them to subscribers for a fee.

The 6 to 3 decision handed a major victory to the broadcast networks, which argued that Aereo’s business model was no more than a high-tech approach for stealing their content.

The justices’ ruling leaves the current broadcast model intact while imperiling Aereo’s viability as a business, just two years after a team of engineers, lawyers, marketers and even an Olympic medalist came together with a vision to provide a new viewing service that “enables choice and freedom.”

Broadcasters applauded the ruling, and shares in the media groups shot up on Wednesday.

“For two years they have been in existence, trying to hurt our business,” Leslie Moonves, chief executive of CBS, said in a telephone interview. “They fought the good fight. They lost. Time to move on.”

Chet Kanojia, Aereo’s founder and chief executive, said in a statement that the ruling was a “massive setback” for consumers and “sends a chilling message to the technology industry.”

Aereo had previously said it had “no Plan B” if it lost in court. On Wednesday, Mr. Kanojia said that “our work is not done” and that Aereo would continue to “fight to create innovative technologies,” but he did not specifically say how the company would move forward. Analysts and legal experts said Aereo was left with few options in an opinion that rejected all of its major arguments.
"No Plan B"? Ouch.

Continue reading.

Also at SCOTUS Blog, "Opinion analysis: A clever new technology thwarted — for now," and "But what about the “cloud”? The Aereo argument in Plain English."