With an important Supreme Court case currently underway between Aereo and TV broadcasters, I thought that I would explain what's happening in the form of a multi-part blog post over the next week. Enjoy...
What is Aereo?
Aereo streams live TV shows over the Internet to subscribers. The company obtains the shows by capturing over-the-air TV broadcasts. With millions of tiny TV antennas at its facilities, Aereo assigns one of these antennas to each of its customers. Using their computers, Aereo users can control what stations their antennas puck up and can access DVRs as well.
What’s going on?
ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, and PBS were among several broadcasters that tried to shut down Aereo. Which they failed to do. Sometime around two years ago, these broadcasters filed copyright suits against Aereo, claiming the company must compensate media creators for the copyrighted material that they distribute for commercial gain.
Aereo says it doesn’t distribute anything since customers are the ones controlling their antennas. A United States Second Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with Aereo in 2013.
Why should I care?
I mean, you don’t have to. That is, unless you care about being about to watch live news and sporting events over the internet.
That’s cool. What does this mean?
It is cool! Right now, the Supreme Court is hearing arguments for and against Aereo. The questions asked by the court centered around a few main themes: whether Aereo is transmitting anything, if the company’s antenna farm is anything more than a trick to get around copyright law, and how the overall ruling will impact cloud computing.
In part 2, we’ll go more in-depth into what this could mean for the future of Aereo and internet television as a whole! Stay tuned…