Aereo, a start-up service that transmits local TV signals through the internet was recently ruled to have violated copyright laws. Although it has the support of copyright experts, the government sided with broadcasters, ruling that the company was guilty of copyright infringement (Rushe 2014). Aereo provides a stream of television content to its subscribers.
The second Circuit Court of Appeals in New York ruled last year that “Aereo’s transmissions and recordings are not ‘public performances’ of copyrighted material” (Flint 2014). Therefore, it was considered legal before the case went to the Supreme Court. Professors at the UCLA School of Law and UC Berkeley School of Law stated that Aereo would “decimate multiple industries” as a result of that ruling (Flint 2014). Subscribers of Aereo currently pay between $8 and $12 per month (Flint 2014). Broadcasters argue that they should be compensated due to Aereo violating copyright law because the company streams content without permission from broadcasters such as CBS, Disney, and FOX (Rushe 2014). The Supreme Court ruled in their favor recently, ruling that Aereo had violated copyright law.
The government made the correct decision because Aereo did not get permission to stream its content. The fact that there is financial gain through charging its subscribers is a red flag in itself. Not to mention the original broadcasters do not receive financial compensation from Aereo. The majority of the players in this case sided with broadcasters, except for “two of the nation’s preeminent experts on copyright law” (Flint 2014). Although this is the case, an article by the LA Times does not provide much evidence supporting their claim. It seems as though the majority of evidence lay on the side of broadcasters, which is the way the court ruled.
Flint, Joe. “Copyright experts side with broadcasters in Aereo fight.” Los Angeles Times 04 03 2014, n. pag. Print. <http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/envelope/cotown/la-et-ct-aereo-nimmer-copyright-20140304,0,3391538.story
Rushe, Dominic. “US government sides with broadcasting giants in Aereo copyright legal battle.” Guardian 04 03 2014, n. pag. Print. <http://www.theguardian.com/media/2014/mar/04/us-government-aereo-broadcasters-supreme-court>.