Broadcasters and Aereo will get their day at the U.S. Supreme Court sooner rather than later. The high court on Friday agreed to hear an appeal that could help settle whether the online video distributor is violating copyright law.
TV companies including Fox, CBS (NYSE: CBS), ABC and NBC sued Aereo after it began offering online access to local New York City TV stations. They argued the company lacked the rights to distribute the programming online and sought an injunction from a federal judge in New York. The judge declined to issue that injunction, swayed by Aereo's arguments that its service was allowed under the same precedent that lets cable operators lease remote DVR service to their subscribers.
Broadcasters lost again when they appealed that decision to the 2nd U.S. Circuit. When they asked the Supreme Court to take the case in 2013, Aereo filed a brief saying it too welcomed the high court's review as an opportunity to settle the matter. Both broadcasters and Aereo praised the Supreme Court Friday for agreeing to take the case.
"NAB is pleased the Supreme Court will review this critically important case, and we are optimistic that broadcasters will prevail," Gordon Smith, CEO of the National Association of Broadcasters said in a press release.
Aereo CEO Chet Kanojia expressed his confidence Aereo will win. "We remain unwavering in our confidence that Aereo's technology falls squarely within the law," he said.
It wasn't a guarantee that the Supreme Court would take the case. Some observers thought the issue was not "ripe" enough for the high court's review.
- read the Aereo press release
- and the NAB press release
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