Aereo gets the last laugh, settles copyright claims for less than a penny on the dollar

By Shawn Knight
Apr 21, 2015
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  1. aereo settles broadcasters claims penny dollar abc lawsuit bankruptcy cbs fox aereo broadcasters

    Pioneering over-the-top streaming provider Aereo has agreed to settle copyright disputes with broadcasters for pennies on the dollar, closing a chapter of what will be considered a brief (albeit very important) part of broadcast television history.

    As Bloomberg notes, broadcasters were collectively seeking more than $99 million to resolve copyright claims. Instead, they agreed to settle for just $950,000 – or less than a penny on the dollar.

    Broadcasters including ABC, CBS and Fox were well aware of the fact that they’d never see a judgment anywhere close to the $99 million they were seeking. The ultimate award was seeing Aereo go under which is exactly what happened.

    aereo settles broadcasters claims penny dollar abc lawsuit bankruptcy cbs fox aereo broadcasters

    The disruptive Aereo filed for bankruptcy in November 2014 but not before putting up a valiant fight. Launched in March 2012 on a very limited basis, the company offered subscribers the ability to watch live, over-the-air television online by taking advantage of a loophole in the legal system. Predictably, this drew the ire of virtually every major network as they claimed Aereo didn’t have the necessary licensing rights to rebroadcast their content.

    In February, Aereo sold the majority of its assets at a bankruptcy auction. The company was expecting to bring in anywhere between $4 million to $31.2 million from the auction but at the end of the day, walked away with less than $2 million. Aereo contends that broadcasters intentionally botched the auction.

    A hearing to approve the $950,000 settlement is set for May 7.

    Permalink to story.

  2. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TS Evangelist Posts: 2,729   +1,092

    You have a strange standard for winning... Aereo still has to shut down. The guy's plan to make a pile of money ended with him owing a million bucks and being told he has to end his business. I'd bet he doesn't feel he got the last laugh.
    The lawyers who got paid to sue for this case got the last laugh. This was probably the easiest case of copyright infringement they're ever going to see.
    spectrenad likes this.
  3. dms96960

    dms96960 TS Addict Posts: 253   +28

    I'm not sure I understand. If it was a loophole, it was legal. If it was not legal then how could it be a loophole?
  4. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 11,454   +1,759

    Who writes this nonsense, Charlie Sheen?

    How on earth is having any source of income from your business cut off, and still owing close to a million dollars to be considered "winning", or even a last laugh?
    wiyosaya likes this.
  5. Frank Barnett

    Frank Barnett TS Rookie Posts: 61   +6

    Who is the guy that owes a million? I am sure they were a corporation and the money they lost or owe was not theirs.
  6. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 11,454   +1,759

    Well Mr. Barnett, correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't forming a corporation require some sort of, "fictitious name registration", AKA, "DBA". You're not trying to suggest that corporations, especially ones disbanded by the US Supreme Court, don't get bad credit ratings?

    That said, the million dollars may not have to be paid, but not paying it, will result in great difficulty in borrowing start up capital for his next scam? (Sorry, I meant to say, "big breakthrough in communications technology").

    I suppose he could beg over at Kick Starter. Those people will throw money at just about any lame brained scheme you put in front of them.
  7. Frank Barnett

    Frank Barnett TS Rookie Posts: 61   +6

    I am sure they lose other peoples money not their own. I am sure that the personal wealth of a individual is not afftected.
  8. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 11,454   +1,759

    If that's the case, at the very least, he'll have to fish for a whole new crop of suckers. Come to think of it, a lot of people here at Techspot think any idea with a computer chip involved is a good one. That's because we really, truly, need, internet connected sneakers, sex toys, and snow shovels.

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