Aereo Case at the Supreme Court: What’s at Stake?

Apr 22, 2014 9:32am

The Supreme Court hears a case today pitting every major broadcasting company against a start-up technology company – Aereo Inc. – that allows subscribers to record and watch live TV broadcast programs over the Internet.

Aereo charges a monthly subscription fee for the service, but it does not have any license from copyright-holders to record or transmit their programs.

Here’s what Paul Clement, the powerhouse lawyer hired by the broadcasters (including ABC) says: “Aereo has built an entire business around the unauthorized exploitation of broadcasters’ copyrighted content.”

But David C. Frederick, a lawyer for Aereo, says the company has designed its technology to comply with copyright law.

“Because the performance embodied in each transmission from Aereo’s equipment – the user’s playing of her recording – is available only to the individual user who created that recording, the performance is private, not public,” Frederick said.

Aereo operates in New York City and other cities including Boston and Atlanta.

Read a Full Primer on the Issues and Arguments in the Aereo Case and Find Out What’s at Stake for Consumers

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