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On Friday, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals denied Aereo’s emergency motion to stay an injunction.
The development came after a Utah judge two weeks ago ruled that Fox Broadcasting and some local stations were likely to succeed on the merits of their copyright claim and be irreparably harmed by Aereo’s service that captures over-the-air TV signals and transmits them to subscribers’ digital devices.
As a result of U.S. District Judge Dale Kimball‘s opinion, the broadcasters’ motion for an injunction was granted. Fox believes the injunction will stop Aereo from operating in Utah, New Mexico, Colorado, Oklahoma, Wyoming and Montana — states covered by the 10th Circuit.
On Friday, a panel at the 10th Circuit announced that it had voted 2-1 against stopping the injunction in advance of a Supreme Court hearing. “Aereo has not made a strong showing that it is likely to succeed on the merits of its appeal,” said the order. One judge at the federal appeals court indicated that he would have granted the motion.
A spokesperson for Aereo said, “We are disappointed in the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals 2:1 decision denying our request to stay the injunction in the 10th Circuit. We believe that Aereo’s individual, cloud-based antenna and DVR technology falls squarely within the law and we look forward to presenting our case to the U.S. Supreme Court.”
Aereo’s legality has been a controversial one to say the least.
In 2012, U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan in New York came to the opposite conclusion as Kimball did in finding that broadcasters were unlikely to succeed in their position that what Aereo does is a public performance of copyright under the Transmit Clause. A year later, the 2nd Circuit affirmed Judge Nathan’s opinion.
The Supreme Court then agreed to take up the case. Oral arguments are scheduled for April 22. A high court ruling will likely come later this year and could ultimately shape Aereo’s future.
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