“Grappling with fast-changing technology, Supreme Court justices debated Tuesday whether they can protect the copyrights of TV broadcasters to the shows they send out without strangling innovations in the use of the internet,” Mark Sherman reports for The Associated Press. “The high court heard arguments in a dispute between television broadcasters and Aereo Inc., which takes free television signals from the airwaves and charges subscribers to watch the programs on laptop computers, smartphones and even their large-screen televisions. The case has the potential to bring big changes to the television industry.”
“But several justices expressed concern that a ruling for the broadcasters could hamper the burgeoning world of cloud computing, which gives users access to a vast online computer network that stores and processes information,” Sherman reports. “Paul Clement, representing the broadcasters, tried to assure the court it could draw an appropriate line between Aereo’s service and cloud computing generally. People who merely retrieve what they have stored should have no reason to worry, Clement said.”
“But David Frederick, representing Aereo, said the ‘cloud computing industry is freaked out about the case’ because it sees its $10 billion investment at risk if the court were to hold that anytime music or an image is stored online and then retrieved, the copyright law would be implicated,” Sherman reports. “In each market, Aereo has a data center with thousands of dime-size antennas. When a subscriber wants to watch a show live or record it, the company temporarily assigns the customer an antenna and transmits the program over the Internet to the subscriber’s laptop, tablet, smartphone or even a big-screen TV with a Roku or Apple TV streaming device. The antenna is only used by one subscriber at a time, and Aereo says that’s much like the situation at home, where a viewer uses a personal antenna to watch over-the-air broadcasts for free.”
Read more in the full article here.
TV’s future is about to be decided by U.S. Supreme Court – April 17, 2014
US federal court suspends Aereo internet TV service in several states – February 20, 2014
By putting over-the-air online legally, Aereo clears the way for all TV everywhere – April 10, 2013
Apple is a winner in the Aereo online TV ruling, for now – July 12, 2012