Aereo, a live TV streaming service, will be fighting back against lawsuits in the Supreme Court on Tuesday. Aereo is going up against broadcasting companies and possibly even the US Government, both of which think that capturing over-the-air TV signals and then providing them to customers is not legal.
Though there aren’t many channels that Aereo provides access to, things like CBS and Fox can generally be viewed live because those channels are “over-the-air”.
Earlier the Obama Administration stated that its view on the case is that Aereo should have to pay the same re-transmission fees to the broadcasters as other TV providers would. However, Aereo is arguing that it should not have to because its customers are simply renting access to their own antenna out of thousands that the company has set up.
It is now being reported that the US Government’s position will be provided during Tuesday’s oral arguments, as the Deputy Solicitor General will make an appearance.
If the Supreme Court were to rule in Aereo’s favor, it could result in a major victory for people around the United States that are trying to get rid of cable. While it is true that for $8 a month, Aereo only provides access to a handful of channels, it is still a step in the direction of making things easier for people that don’t want a cable subscription.
Companies have only been paying re-transmission fees for around 10 years but they have become so common that broadcasters are now pulling in $4 billion annually from them. So, you can see why the broadcasters are fighting back against a company like Aereo.
On the other hand, if Aereo loses in the Supreme Court–many expect that it will given the outcomes of other cases–its CEO, Chet Kanojia, says that the company will simply have to shutdown.
Question – Should Aereo have to pay re-transmission fees or is it operating in a perfectly OK way?
Summary: Aereo will fight its legal battle against broadcasters on Tuesday in the Supreme Court. The broadcasters feel that Aereo should have to pay re-transmission fees in order to provide live TV to its customers. The US Government is on the side of the broadcasters.
image credit: aereo