Aereo Fight: Supreme Court Justices Worried About Tech Impact of Decision
Arguments began Tuesday in the case of American Broadcasting Companies v. Aereo.
WASHINGTON – Broadcasters seem to have the edge after oral arguments at the Supreme Court in the case of American Broadcasting Companies v. Aereo.
The justices expressed concern about Barry Diller's Aereo startup, which captures broadcast TV transmissions via tiny antennas and then relays the programming to subscribers' digital devices. But they seemed reluctant to make a decision that could impair other tech services, like cloud computing, which was mentioned multiple times by justices Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan.
Breyer did note that what Aereo is doing "disturbs" him.
The case could alter the TV landscape in a major way.
Broadcasters say Aereo merely is a technologically sophisticated way to violate copyright laws. They also see it as a significant threat to an increasingly important revenue stream: the billions in retransmission fees they receive from cable and satellite providers to carry their content.
Diller recently told The Hollywood Reporter that he thinks Aereo has a "a 50-50 chance [of prevailing], certainly not on what I think supposedly settled law is but because it has become so controversial. It's going to be a tough, tough battle."
What Hollywood Earns
- Ryan Reynolds & Julianne Moore Help Raise Millions of Dollars at a Michael J. Fox Foundation Event
- Jena Malone Opens Her Photo Series 'The Holy Other' on Her Birthday
- Chris Martin's Band Coldplay Honors WWI Veterans in 'All Your Friends' Music Video - Watch Now!
- Jessica Simpson Gets the Support of Her Husband & Kids at Home Decor Launch!