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Aereo sells majority of assets at bankruptcy auction with disappointing results

By Shawn Knight · 20 replies
Feb 27, 2015
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  1. aereo assets sold peanuts bankruptcy auction tivo television lawsuits online tv auction internet tv broadcasters rpx

    Aereo’s assets have been sold at auction for what essentially amounts to pennies on the dollar, allowing a small group of bidders to scoop up the remains at a bargain.

    The bankruptcy auction played host to just 10 bidders. As outlined in a report from Bloomberg, TiVO was the winning bidder for the company’s trademark, customer list and a few other smaller assets. Information-technology consultant Alliance Technologies purchased some equipment while patent clearinghouse RPX scooped up the fallen company’s patent portfolio.

    RPX, if you recall, is the same company that bought the portfolio of the Rockstar Consortium last December for $900 million.

    aereo assets sold peanuts bankruptcy auction tivo television lawsuits online tv auction internet tv broadcasters rpx

    All said and done, Aereo walked away with less than$2 million. That’s a far cry from the $4 million to $31.2 million it was expecting to bring in.

    The sale officially brings an end to what was an innovative company that managed (for a while, at least) to find a loophole in the law which enabled it to deliver over-the-air television channels to paying subscribers across the Internet via the use of tiny antennas (one per customer).

    Without permission from broadcasters, however, the venture was ripe for lawsuits. Despite winning a number of early battles, the broadcasters ultimately won the war in court and forced Aereo out of business.

    Aereo plans to seek out buyers for the remaining assets that weren’t listed for auction.

    Permalink to story.

    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 5, 2015
  2. axiomatic13

    axiomatic13 TS Addict Posts: 188   +109

    Well it was a great product while it lasted. I get a good internet signal where I live but OTA is grainy and I am totally "tree'd" out for satellite TV so this leaves me back at piracy for all the good shows if I want to watch before they are on streaming sites. **** you broadcasters.
  3. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 10,797   +4,605

    Those that shut him down should have been forced to buy his assets at cost.
  4. hahahanoobs

    hahahanoobs TS Evangelist Posts: 2,298   +798

    It's their own fault for using this loophole.
  5. wastedkill

    wastedkill TS Evangelist Posts: 1,423   +350

    You mean the loophole that your currently using right now?
  6. hahahanoobs

    hahahanoobs TS Evangelist Posts: 2,298   +798

    What loophole is that?
  7. The company was found to be in violation of the law. The plaintiffs are about as morally obligated to purchase Aereo's assets as a homeowner is to cover a burglar's child support liabilities.
  8. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 10,797   +4,605

    Key word "was found". There was controversy as to whether that was the case initially. They basically decided he was in violation and stripped him of his expenditures.
  9. Violation of the law is violation of the law. You don't get out of a traffic ticket because your BMW misread the posted speed limit and displayed "88" on the HUD. Likewise, a company shouldn't get out of the consequences of a court decision because their legal team misinterpreted a loophole.
    p51d007 likes this.
  10. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 10,797   +4,605

    Whatever, that comment just makes you as twisted as the courts.
  11. My man, you have an propensity for ad hominem that borders on reflex.
  12. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 3,192   +2,428

    He's kinda of right though. How can you just nonchalantly brush this off as breaking the law? A company was fulfilling a need in a legal manor. Big business took issue with that and got the court to make Aereo's actions retroactively illegal.

    Aereo is no more breaking the law than apple is when it does it's taxes double dutch. The difference between the two is that Aereo's "illegal" actions had no negative impact while Apple evades hundreds of millions of dollars in taxes.

    You really have to think to yourself "It's it great being american?". A place where somehow the NFL (a multi-billion dollar entity) is somehow non-profit (cuz football) and you can find a monopoly for pretty much everything. Don't worry about that though guys, we'll catch those dirty pirates and pesky startups! In money we trust!
    cliffordcooley likes this.
  13. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,931   +3,304

    OK well, thanks for taking the time to explain the judicial process to us.

    This company didn't really concern themselves with understanding copyright law before they began the venture, why should any of their assets be protected?

    I find it somewhat it a patently predictable outcome, that you can't get a decent price for millions of tiny little antennas, that have no other use besides violation of copyright.

    You could always simply not patronize professional football. Don't buy their stinking tickets. Don't go to their stinking games. Don't buy their corny clothing. If enough people did that, the NFL, or any other professional sports business, would not have the power they have now. All I hear is a bunch of addicts cursing their own addiction. And meanwhile, rather typically, the pusher man is laughing his a** off at the junkies.

    And here's another revelation. Most of these "poor oppressed start ups ", you're supporting and bemoaning the fate of, are either useless crap, or outright fraud.

    The public is just one big mass of rampant stupidity. If someone shoves a can in front of its face, the public will throw money in it. Most often, without even taking time to read the label.
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2015
  14. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 10,797   +4,605

    If fully understanding laws were even possible, there would be no need in having lawyers. It was not (and still not for that matter) clear cut, that copyright laws still effected free OTA signals. This concept was unchallenged previously and the courts decided he was in violation, where before they were unsure. Unsure because copyright laws had never seen this concept before.
    That I will agree with but it is kind of irrelevant.
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
    People say invent! People say get creative and do something different. But then when the inventors are found to be in violation, screw them.
  15. I'm twisted because I believe in the rule of law? So be it.

    If they were legally fulfilling a need the lawsuit brought against them by big business would have failed.

    Incorrect. Apple's tax strategy is legal. If they were evading taxes--as you erroneously assert--they would find themselves in court fighting tax evasion charges. Aereo was using their technology to stream copyrighted content without proper licensing to their customers. This was in violation of the law, so they faced (and subsequently lost) the resultant lawsuit.

    There is nothing nonchalant about it. This is a matter of fact or, in your and cliff's case, feeling.

    Fully understanding the law is straightforward. The only reason people need lawyers is because the general population doesn't understand logic, precedent, and definition. They also don't have the rather sizable amount of time required to research the latter two.

    It would be beautiful if it weren't used so nefariously by big players.

    Are Americans under daily threat of being blown up by religious fanatics with bombs strapped to their chest? Are Americans under constant threat of being assassinated or imprisoned for political dissent? Are Americans suffering from famine and rampant disease*? Are American women under constant threat of rape and abduction into the sex trafficking industry, or at risk of stoning for sluttery? Do we capture and enslave people from the neighboring suburb to mine diamonds and precious metals? Do we hand frag grenades and machine guns to children and deploy them to patrol neighborhoods**? Are any Americans currently at risk of stepping on armed land mines on American soil?

    The question I have to think to myself is how warped the perspective of my fellow American has become. That developments with entertainment providers are sufficient to cause some to question the merits of their own country and culture when their position relative to the majority of people on this planet can be reasonably compared to kings.

    *STDs don't count.
    **Chicago doesn't count, either.
  16. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 3,192   +2,428

    So your defense boils down to - Aereo is wrong because it was found guilty and apple (or any other company with questionable practices) is right because it wasn't found guilty. Do you so blindly follow rules put in place by flawed men? Laws are mean't to be challenged and improved. The fact that you cannot see the morality issue here begs the question of your complete sanity.

    FYI, Aereo was essentially extending the range of programming that was already free. They took free Over-the-air programming and made it available to places where the signal wasn't reaching. I guess to you this is more in the wrong than Activision laying off thousands of employees and giving their CEO a multi-million dollar bonus? They were never found guilty in court so it must be legal.

    "Fully understanding the law is straightforward."

    Said no one ever. Is this why there's thousands of takes on the constitution or why somehow the patriot act allows mass surveillance? In reality, it's the opposite.

    Your entire last paragraph is that of an appeasist. Most american's are well aware of what we have. So tell me, in your words, why it's so bad for Americans to continue to defend and improve their country? Since when did it become un-American to do something that this country was founded on?
    cliffordcooley likes this.
  17. I don't blindly follow anything. I am merely stating the fact of the matter. I have made no comment as to the merits of the law or arguments used to establish its interpretation.

    Link me to the law or court decision that prohibits a business entity from firing personal while simultaneously paying a large bonus to an executive. I'll change my avatar to a dunce cap if you can rationally establish that doing something legal isn't legal.

    If you had bothered to read the second sentence you would have found the answer to your question.

    Understanding the law is straightforward because it is a process. When you know how to properly go about the process, it is merely about taking the appropriate series of steps. It is laborious, but not complicated. Where multiple interpretations arise is from errors in logic and/or definition. This is the primary reason properly constructed contracts, regulations, etc. are absurdly long.

    The only complicated thing about law is engineering counter arguments that invalidate the law or its application to a given situation.

    This country was founded on the rule of law. Nobody disputing the Aereo case decision has demonstrated how the court got the decision wrong. They have simply cried foul, as you and cliff have done in this thread. You don't like the decision. You don't understand the decision. You want things changed on the basis of your feelings, rather than a coherent system of justice. That isn't improving this country. That's advocacy for the very democratic principles republican (little 'r' not big) philosophy was opposed to.

    Care to try again?
  18. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 3,192   +2,428

    Stating the fact of the matter? No, you are stating fact with your own opinion attached. Adding Aereo's misfortune to your own spin doesn't make your spin into fact. You may have not comment on the merits of laws directly but you constantly defend them. You wouldn't help something you didn't like. How about this, if you are only stating fact, what's the point for you to even be commenting. This thread is for discussing opinions, everyone can see the results above. I hate people who try to force their own opinions on others like it's fact. You didn't even rebuff my point.

    Your 2nd point is childish, at best. I guess a person with no morals would need it written in stone that it's wrong to take from the poor and give to the rich, especially on grievous terms. This is only something you can say on the internet because you know someone cannot find and punch you in the face for saying something so overtly stupid. Frankly I disgusted of you.

    The 3rd point is just funny to read. Do you even know how law works? No, understanding law isn't a process. Laws create processes but can never themselves be interpreted as such. Law itself will never be a process because they are always changing to meet the needs of the government and it's citizenry.

    "This country was founded on the rule of law. "

    Yeah I'm sure all the colonists moved to america to found a country based on what they were trying to get away from. This is just you twisting words in an attempt to prove your point when you are really just dodging questions again.

    "Care to try again?"

    No, because I've already won. I've already found out that your just some blind pheasant wafting through the internet. It's great that the internet provides a feeding ground for your "facts" but I've heard that defense by FAR too many trolls to be smitten by another.
  19. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 7,277   +566

    Evernessince, your argument has begun to devolve into ad hominem remarks. Argue the issues, not the person or do not post in this thread.
  20. Scroll back up to the top of the thread and read the comment that spawned this discussion. It is a fact that the Aereo was found to be in violation of the law. It is also a fact that one organization is not morally obligated to assume the costs of another's legal violations.

    Calling someone childish and immediately launching into a series of ad hominem attacks on their character. Nicely executed.

    The entire U.S. judicial system would beg to differ.

    Whether or not you're sure is irrelevant. It's in the Declaration of Independence. Specifically, the long list of grievances cited as justification for separating from Great Britain. It is no coincidence that a copious number of them involve the king's arbitrary handling of legal matters.

    You may be willing to grab the ball and run home with it, but that doesn't change the scoreboard.
  21. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,931   +3,304

    ...[ ]....And the rest of us are getting tired of you summarily, "declaring victory", when all you have is your opinion that you're right, and that opinion is completely unsubstantiated.

    At the end of EVERY televised NFL game, there is an announcement, which goes about like this, "This game is televised for the sole private use of our viewing audience. Any rebroadcast or other use without written permission of the NFL is expressly prohibited".. Do you see any ambiguity in that statement? Does it say, well if Techspot members want to do it, it's alright with us? No, en-oh, no?

    The same goes for every other program on broadcast television. At the end is a copyright notice.

    Now, a private citizen can record a program for later viewing, with whatever means at his or her disposal. It that doesn't happen at the appointed time, they can do one of two things, wait for a program in summer reruns, or pay iTunes or Amazon for the episode..

    It sounds to me like Aereo has managed to convince you, and thousands of others, they're practically missionaries, out doing the lord's work, for the greater good of all. And the reason they've managed to do so, is because that's what you wanted to hear. And the reason you wanted to hear it so badly, is because this generation of internet parasites, has a sense of self entitlement well beyond any scope of reason or fact.

    This is just an extension of the old pirates argument, "that movie sucks! I wouldn't pay for that". But yet, it's not too bad for you to steal. So, go download whatever you like, I honestly don't care. But, in the meantime, get your frakkin' megaphone out of my ear.

    So, it is my contention that Aereo's execs knew this was illegal before they ever launched the business. They were relying on their own propaganda and public sentiment to carry the day. It didn't happen.

    As far as all this bull poop about "bankers didn't go to prison, blah blah, blah", take note of the same situation which presents itself time and time again on our nation's streets. You're sitting at the side of the road, and a cop is writing you a ticket. So, a half block away, some guy goes blasting through a red light. So you try and divert the cop's attention, by ratting the dude out. Whereupon, the cop looks you squarely in the eye and says, "but I caught you, and I can only do one thing at a time"

    (*) As far as your use of the term "smitten" goes, I agree that it is a term for being hit with some sort of blow. However, that usage is fairly archaic. In modern times it it usually used in the context of falling in love suddenly.

    So, should I take that to mean you've been in love with internet trolls?
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2015
    davislane1 likes this.
  22. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,931   +3,304

    Cliff, I fail to see where you declare that my statement, (and with a straight face, no less), is, "irrelevent", when is addresses itself to the very title of this topic.

    Lest we forget about the forest while we're pissing on the tree: "Aereo's assets have been sold at auction for what essentially amounts to pennies on the dollar, allowing a small group of bidders to scoop up the remains at a bargain".

    Really, what the ****, er heck, did you, or anybody else think would happen?

    Isn't that what bankruptcy sales are all about, buying stuff for pennies on the dollar?


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