Aereo enables subscribers to view live streams of over-the-air television on PCs and mobile devices. But the company had an interesting take on streaming videos – they were taking over the air broadcasts, collecting them with high-definition antennas, streaming them to individual subscribers, and claiming it wasn’t violating copyright laws because individual subscribers have their own individual antennas.
Essentially, they developed a technology that allowed them to have thousands of antennas in a very small, compact space; and they charged subscribers $8 – $16 per month for the service.
As many broadcasters viewed this as a violation of copyright laws, Aereo was sued and the issue went all the way to the Supreme Court. After the Supreme Court decided that it was, in fact, illegal, Aereo had to cease and desist immediately, ultimately going out of business.
On the Supreme Court’s blog, a VP of Law and Policy at the Computer and Communications Industry Association, wrote, “the court held that Aereo’s Internet-based service, which retransmits local over-the-air broadcast TV signals to subscribers, was publically performing copyrighted acts and therefore infringing copyright.”
As a result of the case, there will be lasting consequences for the tech-sector, in particular, there will be substantial uncertainty for online services including cloud computing. Prior to the decision, many people believed the court would be hesitant to strike their technology down, simply because of its impact on other technology companies. But when you look at other streaming companies, they go through the process and negotiate with other providers. Unfortunately, Aereo failed to do this, so they’re out of business.
To learn more about the Supreme Court’s decision and how it impacts other online services, give us a call at (831) 753-7677 or send us an email at [email protected]. Alvarez Technology Group can help you stay up to date on the latest information regarding various technology companies!