First round win for Aereo
Robert Briel

Aereo, the New York based TV streaming service, has had a victory in court, with a judge refusing to grant a preliminary injunction shutting the service down.

US broadcasters, including all major networks NBC, ABC, CBS, PBS, Fox, filed federal lawsuits against Aereo in the Southern District of New York claiming that Aereo is infringing their copyrights.

US District Judge Alison Nathan said that while the broadcasters had demonstrated they’d suffer financial loss if the service continued, Aereo itself would suffer severe harm – probably enough to kill the business off altogether.
She also drew a parallel with a 2008 case in which an appeals court ruled that Cablevision should be allowed to offer customers a remote PVR.

Chet Kanojia, CEO and founder of Aereo, said “We said from the start that we believed that full and fair airing of the issues would reveal that Aereo’s groundbreaking technology falls squarely within the law.”
The broadcasters said they would appeal against the decision.

The Aereo service aims to provide multiscreen access and PVR functionality for viewers in the New York area. In order to achieve these features, Aereo has installed an array of miniature antennas, which pick up the free-to-air signals from all local broadcasters. When people subscribe they each get a single antenna dedicated to them plus a remote PVR attached to it. Via their broadband connection, they will be able to access antenna and PVR.