Talking tech since 2003

Earlier today, the United States Supreme Court issued a very damning ruling for TV streaming service Aereo, and other major network broadcasters. The court ruled that it will reverse the recent ruling that Aereo was within its rights given by the Copyright Act, and, as a result, will not be allowed to continue operation.

With that reversal announcement, the company is effectively destroyed – the company said as much themselves in the past. Investors aren’t happy about this news either, since the young startup had raised over $100 million in just a handful of years on the market.

According to the official blog of the Supreme Court, “the essence of the Aereo ruling is that Aereo is equivalent to a cable company, not merely an equipment provider.”

Aereo CEO and Founder Chet Kanojia had his own comments for the Supreme Court and its decision, and made them known in an emailed statement to BestTechie.

“Today’s decision by the United States Supreme Court is a massive setback for the American consumer. We’ve said all along that we worked diligently to create a technology that complies with the law, but today’s decision clearly states that how the technology works does not matter. This sends a chilling message to the technology industry.

It is troubling that the Court states in its decision that, ‘to the extent commercial actors or other interested entities may be concerned with the relationship between the development and use of such technologies and the Copyright Act, they are of course free to seek action from Congress.’ (Majority, page 17)That begs the question: Are we moving towards a permission-based system for technology innovation?”

Kanojia went on to talk about the rights of Americans to choose “smarter, easier to use” technologies like Aereo, and to continue voting with their dollars.

“Consumer access to free-to-air broadcast television is an essential part of our country’s fabric. Using an antenna to access free-to-air broadcast television is still meaningful for more than 60 million Americans across the United States.  And when new technology enables consumers to use a smarter, easier to use antenna, consumers and the marketplace win. Free-to-air broadcast television should not be available only to those who can afford to pay for the cable or satellite bundle.”

“Justice Scalia’s dissent gets it right. He calls out the majority’s opinion as ‘built on the shakiest of foundations.’ (Dissent, page 7)  Justice Scalia goes on to say that ‘The Court vows that its ruling will not affect cloud-storage providers and cable television systems, see ante, at 16-17, but it cannot deliver on that promise given the imprecision of its results-driven rule.’ (Dissent, page 11)”

“We are disappointed in the outcome, but our work is not done.  We will continue to fight for our consumers and fight to create innovative technologies that have a meaningful and positive impact on our world.”

For those less versed in the situation, you can read all about the ongoing court battle here, and its antenna technology in our review.

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