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Supreme Court Rules Against Aereo Streaming Service 484

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the tiny-antennas-not-tiny-enough dept.
New submitter Last_Available_Usern (756093) writes that the Aereo saga is likely over. "The U.S. Supreme Court today dealt a potentially fatal blow to Aereo, an Internet service that allows customers to watch broadcast TV programs on mobile devices by renting a small DVR and antennas (in supported cities) to record and then retransmit local programming on-demand over the internet." Ruling (PDF). Aereo was found to be publicly transmitting, according to SCOTUSBlog "The essence of the Aereo ruling is that Aereo is equivalent to a cable company, not merely an equipment provider."
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Supreme Court Rules Against Aereo Streaming Service

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  • Wrong decision (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ArcadeMan (2766669) on Wednesday June 25, 2014 @10:58AM (#47314975)

    If it requires a login/password and a user account, how is that "publicly transmitting"?

    Would the judge also declare that when I'm watching Netflix via wi-fi, I'm also "publicly transmitting"?

  • Predictable (Score:4, Interesting)

    by jythie (914043) on Wednesday June 25, 2014 @11:06AM (#47315045)
    While not the verdict I would have liked, this is not terribly surprising. Tech people often like latching on to literal interpretations, loopholes in language, or novel technological work arounds. However judges take into account the 'spirt' of the law, and are often interested in how something behaves or what it actually does as opposed to the technological implementation.

    Regardless of the clever implementation, Aereo behaved like a subscription cable service. How it collected and stored programming was not relevant to this.
  • Re:Wrong decision (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Bartles (1198017) on Wednesday June 25, 2014 @11:16AM (#47315155)
    That must be why Scalia, Thomas, and Alito dissented.
  • Re:Predictable (Score:5, Interesting)

    by am 2k (217885) on Wednesday June 25, 2014 @11:16AM (#47315163) Homepage
    So, why is the spirit of the law ignored when it comes to tax code? Why are there so many companies with their seat in places like the Cayman Islands or San Marino, while 99% of the work force is in other countries like the US or somewhere in the EU? They still don't have to pay any taxes.
  • by Beeftopia (1846720) on Wednesday June 25, 2014 @11:18AM (#47315177)

    He's not: "As Stephen Breyer, one of the Supreme Court justices, said in this week’s hearing, “What disturbs me is I don’t understand what the decision for you or against you is going to do to all kinds of other technologies.” [economist.com]

    It seems to me that judges should be ruling based on the law, not perceived ancillary social influences. That's why we have three branches of government: legislative, executive and judicial. Legislative makes the law, and judicial merely determines if actions are legal or not legal? Quaint, no?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 25, 2014 @11:41AM (#47315489)

    See the for profit health care system? Waaaay the hell more than 10,000+ deaths. Yep

  • Re:Aereo is 1-to-1 (Score:4, Interesting)

    by jratcliffe (208809) on Wednesday June 25, 2014 @11:42AM (#47315499)

    Regarding 1-to-1 vs. one-to-many, the ruling deals with this issue explicitly. See page 14.

    Regarding it not being streaming to download your own data across the Internet, the ruling discusses this issue as well, see page 15.

    http://www.supremecourt.gov/op... [supremecourt.gov]

  • by VTBlue (600055) on Wednesday June 25, 2014 @01:29PM (#47316641)

    I lived in the UK as an expat for 3 years. My boss who recruited me at the time mentioned often how she could never stand to watch the TV in America. I didn't understand what it was until I started watching UK TV. At first it was really annoying because advertising was limited to mostly insurance ads, and a few household goods. Then it dawned on my how little diversity there was. I had probably gone 6 months without ever having seen a movie trailer or annoying news promos shouting at the viewer. In general, watching UK TV was either a calming or relaxed experience. The volumes were lower, the banter more intelligent, and though I gag at saying this, "it warmed the soul." Fast forward three years later coming back to the US. TV is loud, obnoxious, alarming, and basically rile up the viewers. I even learned to the cook decently simply by watching shows by Gordon Ramsay and Jamie Oliver. CNN International was a joy to watch. I can't tell you all the amazing Ricky Gervais material we are missing here in the States. The kicker is that they still have all the best US shows!

    Some aspects are very subtle, others are clearly apparent. An example of this watching the news. Compare Canadian or UK news with what we call news in the US. It's truly laughable here with respect to tv news.

    I'll take UK TV over US broadcasting anyday.

  • Re:Wrong decision (Score:5, Interesting)

    by BadgerRush (2648589) on Wednesday June 25, 2014 @04:06PM (#47318227)

    So it is ilegal to watch TV at my office because I can't sleep in my office?

    And a person living in a basement (you know, like the tipical slashdoter), can never legaly get aerial TV because that would entail puting an antena and running a wire on other person's roof?

    They didn't "profit by selling everyone else's content", they profited by selling access to publicly available content to which the clients already had the right to watch but didn't have the tecnical means do do so. They where just a antena renting service.

    The TV channels decided to distribute their content for free, it shouldn't be ilegal to provide means for people to reach this content. If a drive-in theater decides to screen films for free that doesn't make it ilegal for taxis and buses to charge to ferry people to the theater.

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