Supreme Court Finds Aereo Violates Copyright
June 25, 2014
The Supreme Court today ruled that television start-up Aereo violates copyright when it captures free broadcasts from major networks and charges its users to access the content on Internet-connected devices, including phones. The 6-3 ruling has far-reaching implications for the future of television. Major networks Disney, ABC, NBC and CBS Corp., along with the NFL and MLB, had threatened to turn to subscription broadcasts if the Court upheld Aereo’s business model. However, in response to fears that ruling against Aereo would stifle innovation, Justice Stephen Breyer, who wrote the majority opinion, made it clear the decision was specifically related to Aereo and its service. . Three conservative justices dissented, saying the majority’s ruling “will sow confusion for years to come.” In the dissent, written by Justice Antonin Scalia, the justices said the court distorted federal copyright law to rule against Aereo, and added that if the service is a problem, it was up to Congress to address it.
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