Nearly a couple of weeks after a New York federal judge issued a preliminary injunction against Aereo, the Internet streaming service has announced that it is laying off most of its workforce as well as shutting its Boston office.
"In an effort to reduce costs, we made the difficult decision to lay off some of our staff in Boston and New York. We are continuing to conserve resources while we chart our path forward", Aereo executive Virginia Lam said.
In a notice to government officials, the startup said that 43 employees working in its Boston office, which employs around 53 people, would be laid off by November 12, while others will stay until the operations officially close. In total, around 60 employees are being laid off.
Aereo, which focused on providing online television services by retransmitting broadcast television signals to consumers in real time via the Internet, has been offline since June, when the Supreme Court ruled that the company's service is in violation of copyright law, saying that it is analogous to a cable company which doesn't pay networks for programming licenses.
Following the ruling, Aereo switched to a new legal argument, saying that if the Supreme Court compared it to a cable firm, then it should be treated like one. However, US District Judge Alison Nathan denied the company's request for a cable license, effectively saying that merely retransmitting airwaves doesn't make it a cable company.
Aereo still has a ray of hope, given that despite broadcasters' request, Nathan's ruling did not cover the company's DVR functions, something that would allow it to retransmit content after "a modest delay, such as 10 minutes".