Don't count Aereo out yet

Don't count Aereo out yet


It may not be game over for internet television streaming company Aereo, which shut its doors last month after the Supreme Court ruled that it violated the Copyright Act. In a new court filing, the company says it believes it can operate once again, and within the confines of the Supreme Court decision by operating as a cable system instead of an equipment provider. Under current law, that would protect any transmissions it's picking up from being prohibited, the company wrote in a joint letter to US District Judge Alison Nathan.

"Under the Second Circuit's precedents, Aereo was a provider of technology and equipment with respect to the near-live transmissions at issue in the preliminary injunction appeal. After the Supreme Court's decision, Aereo is a cable system with respect to those transmissions," the company said in the letter. Therefore, it added, those signals would be protected as part of a "statutory license." Broadcasters who sued Aereo commented that they find this new legal plan and interpretation of the Copyright Act "astonishing."

Aereo launched in early 2012, and was quickly sued by broadcasters who took aim at its legality. The company's technology uses rooms full of dime-sized antennas to stream and record over-the-air TV programming, then delivers it to people online. The company made money off premium plans that offered extra features like DVR and multichannel recording before shutting down late last month. The company's attempts to sidestep the Supreme Court ruling also includes calling on consumers to get in touch with members of Congress.

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