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Summary:

Aereo just hit a major roadblock, with broadcasters winning an injunction that will force the company to pull out of two markets.

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A federal district court has granted a preliminary injunction against TV streaming service Aereo, forcing the company to pull the plug on its service in Utah and Colorado, according to a Los Angeles Times report.

The paper reported that judge Dale Kimball granted a request for a preliminary injunction against Aereo made by Fox, the Sinclair Broadcasting Group and the Nexstar Broadcasting Corporation for the entire 10th District, which will force Aereo to shut down in Salt Lake City as well as Denver, and possibly put further expansions into states like Kansas and New Mexico on hold.

Aereo will get its day in front of the Supreme Court in April.

  1. I don’t have a problem with someone competing with the broadcasters. But Aereo has been claiming for some time that they’re not doing retransmission. The company designed and owns their antennas and their servers, and they bill their customers monthly for the rental of them. I have a problem with the company telling the public a flat-out lie. I hope Aereo gets whacked.

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    1. Then you should have a problem with pretty much all companies and want them all wacked.

      The reality is … if what Aereo is doing is illegal, so is you putting up your own Antenna. It doesn’t matter who does it on whomever’s behalf.

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      1. “It doesn’t matter who does it on whomever’s behalf.”

        The cable companies put up their own antenna and retransmit the signal to the public, the same as Aereo does, and no one – not even the cable companies – claims it’s not illegal, nor does anyone say it’s not retransmission. They’re allowed to do it because they pay the broadcasters compensation for it. Aereo doesn’t compensate the broadcasters so they’ve just received an injunction.

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    2. Well, yes and no. The crux of the argument you’re missing is whether it is a *public* rebroadcast. The broadcasters agree with you, that it is a public rebroadcast.

      However, Aereo’s wins so far have centered around the following facts:

      1) Each individual is assigned an individual antenna. Just like you can now legally rent an antenna to set up at your house. But some houses don’t get good antenna reception (mine included) and, thus, Aereo keeps *your* antenna on the roof of a well-placed building

      2) Each user is assigned an individual DVR. Similar to the above fact, each TV-to-IP converting DVR is individual. Today, you can legally rent a DVR for your household, as upheld in Cablevision vs. Cartoon Network. Aereo just doesn’t see a need to send the physical DVR to your house.

      In my opinion (and the opinions of the last two courts Aereo won in), this is exactly the same as renting an antenna and DVR from, say, Radio Shack (if they did rentals), and setting them up in your house, all of which has been upheld by courts in the past. The only difference technologically is the length of the cord between the DVR and the TV. Yes, it is a retransmission. No, it is not a *public* retransmission, it’s a private retransmission, and copyright law states that it cannot be a public rebroadcast. It’s quite premature to say that Aereo is flat-out lying. The matter currently comes down to a publicly debatable matter of opinion

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      1. Sorry for any confusion. I thought my earlier reply was going to appear immediately after aereong’s comment, not Mark’s. So when I said “you” earlier, I was referring to aereong.

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  2. The thing that I’ve long not understood is: Broadcasters put their signal on the air for free. They want as many people to watch it as possible, because increased ratings increases the value of their advertising. Why would they then want to charge for “retransmission” which also increases their viewership, and thus the value of their ads? The only reason I can think of is the same reason as a dog licks his parts – because they can. I hope that pretty soon, they can’t (the broadcasters, that is, not the dog).

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