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Supreme Court Invalidates Aereo Business Model; Ruling Declares Aereo Infringes Copyright

In the closely watched case of American Broadcasting Companies v. Aereo, the Supreme Court ruled yesterday that Aereo’s business model infringed on television broadcasters’ exclusive rights to transmit television programming. ¬† The Court’s 6-3 ruling held that Aereo’s technology, which uses tiny antennas, each dedicated to an individual customer, to receive television signals and then transmit them over the internet at the customer’s request, was employed solely to exploit an apparent loophole in the Copyright Act. ¬†In this case, the Court relied on Congressional intent and closed the apparent loophole itself rather than ruling that Congress would have to act to shut down Aereo and similar systems.

The Supreme Court’s ruling stuck to the facts of the case before, which were limited only to the retransmission (or public performance) of over the air television signals. ¬†By ruling narrowly, the Court did not address cloud storage, remote internet data storage or exchanges, or other new technologies that could have been impacted by a sweeping ruling. ¬†For now, the fear of the tech crowd are allayed.






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