Report: Broadcasters ask high court to shut down Aereo TV streaming service

The broadcasters are turning to the U.S. Supreme Court after a lower court wouldn't grant an injunction

A cadre of prominent broadcasters including ABC and CBS petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court on Friday to shut down Aereo, a television streaming service, alleging that Aereo infringes their copyrights and puts their businesses at risk, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

The petition alleges that Aereo, which charges a fee to stream local TV stations' programming over the Internet, violates broadcasters' copyrights, the WSJ report said. The stations' broadcasts include network programming. The petitioning broadcasters include the owners of the ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox networks. They are appealing a ruling by the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals that shot down their request for an injunction against Aereo, the WSJ said.

The previous ruling said Aereo's streaming TV service did not infringe the copyrights of over-the-air TV stations.

The circuit court's decision "is already transforming the industry and threatening the very fundamentals of broadcast television," the broadcasters wrote in their petition, the WSJ said.

An Aereo spokeswoman said the company "will respond, as appropriate, in due course."

Aereo has argued that its service falls squarely within the law. The company's technology uses remote antennas to receive over-the-air TV signals. Users can record shows to a digital video recorder in the cloud, and then watch them on devices including phones, tablets and computers.

"There is no reason that consumers should be limited to 1950s technology to access over-the-air broadcast television," Aereo CEO and founder Chet Kanojia said Thursday in a statement following a separate ruling in a U.S. district court in Massachusetts.

If the Supreme Court rules in the case, its decision could have far-reaching implications that go beyond Aereo's standing as a business. The petition comes as more people turn to the Internet to consume television content, and a negative ruling might prevent other emerging companies from providing a service similar to Aereo's.

However, victories by Aereo in lower courts put it in a good position, said Art Brodsky, a communications consultant in the telecom industry.

"Aereo is still in the driver's seat," Brodsky said.

"The reason these broadcasters have taken this to the Supreme Court is because they've lost down below," he said. "This is the last step they can take."

Aereo is currently only available in select areas, including New York, Boston, Miami and Atlanta, but is expanding rapidly, the company's website says.

Zach Miners covers social networking, search and general technology news for IDG News Service. Follow Zach on Twitter at @zachminers. Zach's e-mail address is zach_miners@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags internetvideoservicesconsumer electronicsabcInternet-based applications and servicesInternet service providersU.S. Supreme CourtCBSNBC UniversalAereo

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Zach Miners

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?