Aereo to take on broadcasters in US Supreme Court

December 12, 2013 21.00 Europe/London By Robert Briel

Aereo array of miniature antennasAereo founder and CEO Chet Kanojia has filed a brief today in the US Supreme Court in which he agrees to see the broadcasters in an effort to establish legality of its service.

Aereo is rolling out its internet-delivered streaming and PVR service city by city and meets string opposition from broadcasters everywhere. Now, a number of broadcasters – including reportedly Disney, CBS, NBCUniversal, Fox, Univision, and others – are taking the case to the US Supreme Court.

Aereo’s Kanojia agrees this is probably the best way to end the legal battle once and for all.

“We have decided to not oppose the broadcasters’ petition for certiorari before the United States Supreme Court. While the law is clear and the Second Circuit Court of Appeals and two different federal courts have ruled in favour of Aereo, broadcasters appear determined to keep litigating the same issues against Aereo in every jurisdiction that we enter. We want this resolved on the merits rather than through a wasteful war of attrition.

“The long-standing landmark Second Circuit decision in Cablevision has served as a crucial underpinning to the cloud computing and cloud storage industry. The broadcasters’ filing makes clear that they are using Aereo as a proxy to attack Cablevision itself

“Aereo provides to consumers antenna and DVR technology. With Aereo, a consumer tunes an individual, remotely located antenna and makes personal recordings on a cloud DVR. The Aereo technology is functionally equivalent to a home antenna and DVR, but it is an innovation that provides convenience and ease to the consumer. The plaintiffs are trying to deny consumers the ability to use a more modern antenna and DVR by trying to prevent a consumer’s access to these technologies via the cloud.

“Consumers have the right to use an antenna to access the over-the-air television. It is a right that should be protected and preserved and in fact, has been protected for generations by Congress. Eliminating a consumer’s right to take advantage of innovation with respect to antenna technology would disenfranchise millions of Americans in cities and rural towns across the country.

“We are unwavering in our belief that Aereo’s technology falls squarely within the law and we look forward to continuing to delight our customers.”