Supreme Court rules against Aereo in landmark television debate

Shawn Knight

TechSpot Staff
Staff member
The way we watch television in this country isn't going to change anytime soon. The Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled that television streaming startup Aereo violates copyright laws by capturing over-the-air signals using an array of mini antennas and delivering...

[newwindow="https://www.techspot.com/news/57225-supreme-court-rules-against-aereo-in-landmark-television-debate.html"]Read more[/newwindow]
 
G

Guest

Aereo will be missed. I loved their service. It was the wave of the future for television.
 

insect

TS Evangelist
Maybe I don't understand this Aereo thing completely... Why would anyone pay for something that is broadcast over the air for free?
capturing over-the-air signals using an array of mini antennas and delivering said content to subscribers for a fee.
Were they capturing paid service signals? If so, then to me it seems clear that is a violation of copyright. Take for example, I buy a book then head to the local park and start reading it aloud. Someone near me is writing it all down word for word. That person near me would still be in violation of copyright.
 

amstech

IT Overlord
Just a minor setback.
The days of people dropping $100-$200 monthly for 1600 channels they don't watch are coming to an end. Most users today want only 5-20 select channels and internet. If cable providers didn't package/bundle TV in, the amount of users who needed/wanted regular TV would substantially drop.
We are changing our plan from 2.5MBps and Digital + HD channels to 5.0MBps and basic TV. Commercial television (other then sports and cooking shows) sucks.
 

TadMSTR

TS Booster
Maybe I don't understand this Aereo thing completely... Why would anyone pay for something that is broadcast over the air for free?
capturing over-the-air signals using an array of mini antennas and delivering said content to subscribers for a fee.
Were they capturing paid service signals? If so, then to me it seems clear that is a violation of copyright. Take for example, I buy a book then head to the local park and start reading it aloud. Someone near me is writing it all down word for word. That person near me would still be in violation of copyright.
They were capturing free over the air signals and retransmitting over the Internet, commercials and all. They technically were not breaking the law as each customer was assigned an antenna. It would be the same as having the antenna hooked up at the customer's home. Instead the antenna was located somewhere else, with better signal coverage. They charged for the service of the DVR and better signal coverage. They were not charging for the programming. However, the TV execs didn't see it that way.
 

insect

TS Evangelist
They were capturing free over the air signals and retransmitting over the Internet, commercials and all. They technically were not breaking the law as each customer was assigned an antenna. It would be the same as having the antenna hooked up at the customer's home. Instead the antenna was located somewhere else, with better signal coverage. They charged for the service of the DVR and better signal coverage. They were not charging for the programming. However, the TV execs didn't see it that way.
Thanks for explaining, but why then didn't people setup their own rabbit ears (instead of $8 per month)? *shrugs* The internet provides it all without commercials.
 

Solitaire888

TS Rookie
They were capturing free over the air signals and retransmitting over the Internet, commercials and all. They technically were not breaking the law as each customer was assigned an antenna. It would be the same as having the antenna hooked up at the customer's home. Instead the antenna was located somewhere else, with better signal coverage. They charged for the service of the DVR and better signal coverage. They were not charging for the programming. However, the TV execs didn't see it that way.
Thanks for explaining, but why then didn't people setup their own rabbit ears (instead of $8 per month)? *shrugs* The internet provides it all without commercials.
As was mentioned, it was for getting better service. In some cases, people were getting channels that were out of their area as well.
 
  • Like
Reactions: cliffordcooley

captaincranky

TechSpot Addict
They were capturing free over the air signals and retransmitting over the Internet, commercials and all. They technically were not breaking the law as each customer was assigned an antenna....[ ]....
At the end of every NFL OTA network broadcast, the copyright terms specifically state, "this telecast MAY NOT be rebroadcast without the express permission of the National Football League".

Now, if Aereo was doing anything other than "rebroadcasting", wrapped up in some snot bag BS, semantic, reinterpretation of that declaration, I'd really like you to show me how.

And it would seem, The Supreme Court feels the same way.

Amazon thought they were going to float this, "delivery drones are really model airplanes", garbage past the FAA. That didn't work either.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: misor

Darkshadoe

TS Guru
"Take for example, I buy a book then head to the local park and start reading it aloud."

You also would be in violation of copyright for "sharing"
 

captaincranky

TechSpot Addict
"Take for example, I buy a book then head to the local park and start reading it aloud."

You also would be in violation of copyright for "sharing"
It is sort of ironic what we now consider "copyright violations", are many things we considered "rights" in years past.

The trouble sets in when these days you, "read aloud", you are doing so to the entire world's population via the internet.

Take my example of the OTA broadcast of a football game. I don't think any judge would rule against you for infringement for inviting a few friends over to watch the game, but to rebroadcast it for money, that a whole 'nuther story.
 

MilwaukeeMike

TS Evangelist
Since when is the consumer ever supposed to win? It's all about the money, nothing more.
Seriously? I'm about 90% sure you're trolling. It's all about the money? For who, because for Aereo, it's all about the money too.

I'm actually shocked 3 supreme court justices voted in favor of this. Stealing isn't legal because a) technology makes it easy and b) we, as consumers, benefit. It's the definition of corruption to think something that is obviously wrong is suddenly OK because it's to your benefit. I'd love it if Aereo were legal, I'd sign up immediately, because every ounce of common sense I have tells me this is the most obviously illegal service since Napster and I'd be scared it would be cancelled faster than that Popcorn app that was out for about 6 hours.
 

Darkshadoe

TS Guru
"Take my example of the OTA broadcast of a football game. I don't think any judge would rule against you for infringement for inviting a few friends over to watch the game, but to rebroadcast it for money, that a whole 'nuther story."

I agree with you but the whole 'copyright infringement' issue has been horribly bastardized. For example, restaurants can't sing Happy Birthday anymore and record companies wanted businesses to pay a fee for listening to the radio during work hours because several people could hear and enjoy it. So I am not sure if a judge would or would not rule against you if you did invite people over to watch the game. These days it is hard to tell.
 
  • Like
Reactions: TadMSTR

Skidmarksdeluxe

TS Evangelist
Seriously? I'm about 90% sure you're trolling. It's all about the money? For who, because for Aereo, it's all about the money too.

I'm actually shocked 3 supreme court justices voted in favor of this. Stealing isn't legal because a) technology makes it easy and b) we, as consumers, benefit. It's the definition of corruption to think something that is obviously wrong is suddenly OK because it's to your benefit. I'd love it if Aereo were legal, I'd sign up immediately, because every ounce of common sense I have tells me this is the most obviously illegal service since Napster and I'd be scared it would be cancelled faster than that Popcorn app that was out for about 6 hours.
Me trolling??? Never.:) But you're probably right, I don't really understand what Aereo was up to in the 1st place apart from trying to make easy money.
 

rvnwlfdroid

TS Booster
So what's next.... For all of the people out there that download TV episodes and justify it by saying to yourselves it's an over the air broadcast so there's nothing wrong with it... Guess What... Your Next... :p
 

captaincranky

TechSpot Addict
Aereo will be missed. I loved their service. It was the wave of the future for television.
And like the proverbial perfect wave, it seems to have broken over you, and now is gone......:'( You probably didn't have your, "channel surf board", waxed correctly.....:D

( I think I did some great work with metaphor in that post, don't you)?
 
Last edited: