The US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit recently denied a preliminary injunction motion that would have prevented Aereo from streaming recorded broadcast television over the Internet to subscribers. It’s a huge victory for the budding service and a serious blow to television networks that believe Aereo's service is illegal.
The court said the television networks that requested the injunction have not demonstrated they are likely to prevail on the merits of the claim in their copyright infringement action. The networks seemingly aren’t deterred by the setback, however. In a statement on the matter, CBS said they are confident that the rights of content owners will be recognized and that they will prevail as the courts continue to consider the case and others like it.
This isn’t the first time Aereo has been successful in the court room. A District Court ruled in favor of the company late last year when a number of networks including ABC, CBS and NBC filed a lawsuit alleging copyright infringement. The broadcasters claim Aereo’s elaborate system of antennas are illegal and at the very least, are requesting royalties for allowing customers to record their programming.
If you aren’t already aware, Aereo takes advantage of a loophole in the legal system that allows them to broadcast television over the web to subscribers. They are able to do this by installing a massive array of tiny antennas in a given region – enough to theoretically cover every subscriber at any given time.