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Aereo Loses in Supreme Court

The Supreme Court ruled today on the Aereo case.

The Supreme Court ruled in a 6-3 decision that Aereo, the internet television service that threatened to upend the television industry, is infringing on broadcasters’ copyright when it picks up over-the-air TV signals and streams them over the Internet to its subscribers.

The controversy around the service is that Aereo doesn’t pay licensing fees to the broadcast networks that produce the programs like cable companies do.  Instead, they utilize thousands of tiny antennas to capture and convert broadcast television programs into online video streams and broadcast them to their subscribers.

The broadcast companies have fought Aereo in court for several years, stating that they are breaking copyright law requiring the permission of copyright owners for “public performances” of their work. The law defines such performances to include retransmission to the public. Aereo argues that it shouldn’t have to pay the fees because it is an equipment provider rather than a retransmitter, and is therefore not breaking copyright law.

The impact of a ruling against Aereo will be far-reaching, with companies such as Google and Apple having voiced their concerns over potential implications.

Google 2nd Vote Score: 1.3
Apple 2nd Vote Score: 2.3

So the question was: Does Aereo violate copyright laws? The Supreme Court says yes.

To read the full ruling, click here.