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Court: Aereo TV Rebroadcast Is Still Legal

Soulskill posted about a year and a half ago | from the technological-integration-by-parts dept.

Television 64

Maximum Prophet writes "While Redigi is illegal, Aereo, the service that allows users to time-shift over-the-air TV programming, isn't. 'We conclude that Aereo's transmissions of unique copies of broadcast television programs created at its users' requests and transmitted while the programs are still airing on broadcast television are not 'public performances' of the plaintiffs' copyrighted works,' said the ruling (PDF). Of course, both decisions are going to be appealed. 'The outcome also answers the question, at least momentarily, of whether online television would be controlled by a stodgy industry that once shunned the VCR, or whether third-party innovators embracing technological advances have a chance to build on the openness of public airwaves. ... Aereo’s technological setup, the court found, basically allows it to do what cable companies could not: retransmit broadcast airwaves without paying licensing fees. In short, the Aereo service is as legal as somebody putting an antenna on top of their house to capture broadcast signals. The court said Aereo “provides the functionality of three devices: a standard TV antenna, a DVR, and a Slingbox” device. “Each of these devices is legal, so it stands to reason that a service that combines them is also legal. Only in the world of copyright maximalists do people need to get special permission to watch over-the-air television with an antenna,” said John Bergmayer, an attorney with the digital-rights group Public Knowledge. “Just because ‘the internet’ is involved doesn’t change this."'"

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Hang on. (3, Funny)

boarder8925 (714555) | about a year and a half ago | (#43345385)

This isn't a late April Fool's Day joke, is it?

Re:Hang on. (1)

yathaid (2106468) | about a year and a half ago | (#43345509)

This isn't a late April Fool's Day joke, is it?

Nope, just late.

WE Demand... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43345391)

public offerings of well-established business solutions for muli-purpose worldwide organizations

What a hack (4, Informative)

Animats (122034) | about a year and a half ago | (#43345401)

Aereo is a legal hack. Each user has their very own UHF antenna. The receiving center has thousands of tiny UHF antennas, one per user, each driving their own private file store. It's a remote DVR.

Re:What a hack (4, Insightful)

Kell Bengal (711123) | about a year and a half ago | (#43345453)

Each user has their very own UHF antenna. The receiving center has thousands of tiny UHF antennas, one per user

This really does highlight the absurdity of the current legal framework.

Re:What a hack (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43345477)

Each user has their very own UHF antenna. The receiving center has thousands of tiny UHF antennas, one per user

This really does highlight the absurdity of the current legal framework.

Luckily this time the absurdity works in our favor.

it usually doesn't. but yeah the whole thing needs to be scrapped and reworked.

Re:What a hack (3, Insightful)

sjames (1099) | about a year and a half ago | (#43345809)

The absurdity is that the hack is at all necessary. Technically it is 100% equivalent of one good antenna and one encoder multicasting to each subscriber but due to the absurdities of copyright, the separate setup for each subscriber is necessary.

In a sane legal climate, the TV station would be thrilled that Aero wants to help them reach the dead pockets in their area at no cost to them and any suggestion that such helpful people (including the incumbent cable operators) might owe them a fee would be laughed out of court.

Re:What a hack (1)

Comen (321331) | about a year and a half ago | (#43345913)

Except it is impossible to multicast across the internet to individual subscribers, while maintaining the benefits of multicast, you can use a VPN type connection for multicast across the internet, but then your back to a point to point connection.

Re:What a hack (1)

sjames (1099) | about a year and a half ago | (#43345951)

For those with pedantic disease: Sending multiple streams from the same device using some combination of UDP, TCP, or multicast UDP.

Re:What a hack (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43346031)

You mean pedants.

Re:What a hack (1)

sjames (1099) | about a year and a half ago | (#43346053)

Your version fails to convey the diseased aspect appropriately ;-)

Re:What a hack (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43346319)

You shouldn't have a capital 'S' after a colon.

Re:What a hack (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | about a year and a half ago | (#43347969)

You shouldn't have a capital 'S' after a colon.

Its called a colon-S-capade. Too colonesque.

Re:What a hack (1)

davidbrit2 (775091) | about a year and a half ago | (#43405353)

pedantic disease

Penicillin cleared that right up the last time.

Re:What a hack (2)

khchung (462899) | about a year and a half ago | (#43345983)

In a sane legal climate, the TV station would be thrilled that Aero wants to help them reach the dead pockets in their area at no cost to them ...

Playing Devil's Advocate, it would also mean that the existing audiences of a TV station would also be able to view _other_ TV stations, and that means competition.

Before you answer "competition is good", think about how the working people react to the idea that other people outside of their area can now take (what used to be) their jobs. See if those people against the idea would be thrilled if you tell them that, in return, they can also take jobs from other areas.

Yes, both are the result of globalization. But for the TV station's case, it is not a clear cut win for them as you portrayed it to be.

Re:What a hack (2, Interesting)

sjames (1099) | about a year and a half ago | (#43346049)

Not necessarily. At that point, the re-broadcaster could actually fail the no harm no foul principle that SHOULD be part of our legal system at the fundamental level.

If someone wants to re-broaddcast your signal to people who are definitely in your broadcast area, where is the harm? At WORST, they boost your viewership a bit.

The issue of out of area broadcasts is separate and is not something Aero has ever tried to do.

However, in your scenario the station being re-broadcast out of area would have no cause for complaint since their audience is growing. The competing stations might not be terribly happy, but they don't actually have proprietary rights over the viewers, they are expected to attract them. Their complaint would be the same as McDonald's suing Burger King for offering a better or cheaper burger.

I note that thus far, the courts have not been at all sympathetic to the workers in your analogy. However, if it was found that there was a compelling social interest in maintaining viewership areas, legislation would be drafted to cover it (thus granting the previously missing limited proprietary rights over viewers), not individual court actions.

That would in itself be limited. After all, we do not deem it appropriate to protect an NBC affiliate in an area from a competing CBS affiliate.

Re:What a hack (1)

scottrocket (1065416) | about a year and a half ago | (#43346291)

However, in your scenario the station being re-broadcast out of area would have no cause for complaint since their audience is growing. The competing stations might not be terribly happy, but they don't actually have proprietary rights over the viewers, they are expected to attract them. Their complaint would be the same as McDonald's suing Burger King for offering a better or cheaper burger.

It also works both ways: If the interloper is in your area, you are equally free to be in their area. The out-of-area competitions way well be of mutual benefit to both parties. If nothing else, I suspect it will make both (and other) stations more interesting. Btw, Bergmayer may also wish to note that the internet is also legal. :)

Re:What a hack (1)

Mathinker (909784) | about a year and a half ago | (#43381273)

I think what highlights it even more is that one of the dissenting judge's arguments was "this system is totally ridiculous, therefore, even if is legal it can only mean that Aereo is trying to game copyright law by using it --- therefore I rule Aereo shouldn't do that".

Re:What a hack (1)

Dr. Tom (23206) | about a year and a half ago | (#43346241)

Each user gets a "private" copy. I wonder if that copy is about 64 bytes long, just a symlink to the master; they could claim it's merely a compression scheme.

Re:What a hack (2)

hawkinspeter (831501) | about a year and a half ago | (#43346323)

If I was them, I'd use a deduping filesystem (e.g. zfs).

Re:What a hack (1)

HappyPsycho (1724746) | about a year and a half ago | (#43358793)

I can't find the article now but didn't either one of these PVR services or a music storage service get in trouble over de-dup?

If memory serves, the court ruled that because it was reading exactly the same locations & sequence of bytes for all the users with the same file it equated to a public performance.

Re:What a hack (1)

hey (83763) | about a year and a half ago | (#43349419)

Does an Aereo user actually get content thru "their" tiny antenna?

ReDigi is not illegal. (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about a year and a half ago | (#43345495)

They stated publicly that the lawsuit did not affect their current business.

Re:ReDigi is not illegal. (1)

Frobnicator (565869) | about a year and a half ago | (#43349645)

Also, the redigi case is going to be reversed on appeal. It is directly contradictory to established rulings including the landmark case RIAA v Diamond.

The low-court judge's summary-judgement logic was that copying data to a new hard drive makes a new copy of a work under copyright law. RIAA v Diamond had the appeals court look at that in depth, and they found that it does not.

Out come the low lifes. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43345535)

The case was fought by:

AEREO, INC., F/K/A BAMBOOM LABS, INC.,
Defendant-Counter-Claimant-Appellee

Against 10 or more Plaintiffs-Counter-Defendants-Appellants
In other words aereo.com did this by themselves.

The day after the ruling, buycleartv.com is pushing TV on the Internet through pushy TV ads.

Buycleartv is "run" through TV spam commercial producer tristarproductsinc.com.
You've seen them selling the AbRoller, the Banjo Minnow, the Power Juicer and the Genie Bra
to quote a few from their front page.

TV via the Internet ads are going to be screaming at you on a regular basis now;
by those leaching off the work of another.

Don't Like It? Stop Broadcasting (1)

BBCWatcher (900486) | about a year and a half ago | (#43345589)

Broadcasters have a solution if they don't like this decision: don't broadcast over public airwaves, and surrender your valuable spectrum. In other words, be less like ABC and more like ESPN. (Disney understands both business models because they own both, so this isn't a secret.) Of course terminating one's broadcasts would probably mean losing viewers and advertising revenue, but that just reflects the fact that free-to-air ATSC broadcasting is still a financially rewarding way to distribute programming.

A bit of helpful theater (5, Insightful)

srussia (884021) | about a year and a half ago | (#43345599)

Having all those individual UHF antennas. Lots of apartment buildings have a shared antenna--nothing illegal there.

Re:A bit of helpful theater (3, Insightful)

only_human (761334) | about a year and a half ago | (#43346013)

I think there is a subtle difference. If you live in an apartment building sharing a common antenna, in some sense, that antenna is a property use paid for by all tenants, similar to a swimming pool.

In the past, putting over-the-air shows on the internet has been stopped. In those cases there was no established obvious user access to the antenna that was used to put the programming on the web. Aereo is trying to merely meet a simpler case of enabling use of equipment to which the user has legal access. It may be that in the future a common use of a single antenna for multiple users may be allowable by extension of the common antenna example that you mentioned. But by breaking out individual antennas for now, it removed the need to establishment of the legality of that at this time.

Re:A bit of helpful theater (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43346897)

Aereo is trying to merely meet a simpler case of enabling use of equipment to which the user has legal access.

So, could I get in the datacenter to "check my antenna"?

PBS... (3, Interesting)

AlphaWolf_HK (692722) | about a year and a half ago | (#43346047)

Undeterred, a group of the plaintiffs, including Fox and PBS, said they intended to move to trial. “Today’s decision is a loss for the entire creative community,” they said in a statement. “The court has ruled that it is O.K. to steal copyrighted material and retransmit it without compensation. While we are disappointed with this decision, we have and are considering our options to protect our programming.”

I recall something in the last election about how PBS should be entitled to government funding for "the greater good", meanwhile their sales of DVDs and other whatnot's (which apparently they are now trying to protect) go directly into the pockets of the executives instead of repaying what the government gave them. Never mind that big bird makes hundreds of millions per year in addition to paying nothing for its main source of distribution.

Why is government subsidized work supposed to be the property of this so called benevolent broadcaster?

And no, I'm neither a Romney supporter nor a Republican. I'm just one of those libertarians who is a nut for thinking that the government handing money to private entities who otherwise have a perfectly sustainable business model (and are in fact very profitable) is ripping off the taxpayers, and I'm annoyed as hell that somebody would be painted as being the bad guy who "hates free education for children" because he wants to take away said funding.

Re:PBS... (0)

AlphaWolf_HK (692722) | about a year and a half ago | (#43346057)

Oh and I forgot to add; while they are giving this free money to this profitable business, they can't even properly fund themselves and are going deeper and deeper into debt every year. It's stupid that taking away unnecessary spending like this, which I think very obviously needs to be done, is like pulling teeth.

Re:PBS... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43346149)

libtards will be the first against the wall

fuck ayn rand and fuck you

Re:PBS... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43349041)

And what, exactly, does your little rant have to do with TFA?

Jackass.

Re:PBS... (2)

Cajun Hell (725246) | about a year and a half ago | (#43402135)

I don't get your point.

Are you saying the court found that you can record Fox but not record PBS? I couldn't find that in TFA.

Or are you suggesting that Fox should move toward qualifying as a "faith-based initiative?" ;-)

Re:PBS... (1)

mjr167 (2477430) | about a year and a half ago | (#43402995)

I think he is complaining that PBS is involved in the suit when he feels that since PBS is government funded, it should be free free. I.E. our tax dollars paid for PBS so all Americans should have a right to view PBS anytime they please, however they please without paying a fee since theoretically we already paid it with our taxes.

So in short PBS is full of greedy bastards who are using our tax dollars to create a product and then trying to charge us to use the product.

Re:PBS... (1)

dywolf (2673597) | about a year and a half ago | (#43404427)

Wow.
You are so fing clueless about PBS, and TV network structure in general.
Essentially nothing you said is actually true.

PBS, like many "networks" is composed of a supplier of content and thousands of member "affiliates" that take that content and then actually broadcast it. (incidentally, it's why they are called "networks").

Your tax money, less than a whopping $1 a year, only goes to fund that central body, and allow it to purchase broadcast rights to content, and then supply (ie: resell/redistribute) said content downstream to the affiliates.

Meanwhile those local affiliates are completely seperate business entities themselves. Some are operated by non-profits. Some are operated as a sister station to another local affiliate station. Here in Oklahoma the PBS affiliate is OETA and it's run by the state. Each of these (and there are other possibilities too) derives its funding from different sources, which they then use to license content frm the main PBS body.

However none of them get that funding from your federal taxes (possibly your local or state ones though, like in my case).

The two biggest providers of the content on the PBS network are actually the affiliates in Boston and New York. They actually make and produce a large portion of the content PBS redistributes across the netowrk (meaning their own costs are probably close to break even).

What's more, like any affiliate setup, affiliates across the country don't have to show all the PBS content. Many of them buy content from other places, or sources, or buy locally produced stuff.

furthermore, to dispel this myth: Sesame Street is not paid for by your taxes. At all.
Its paid for by licensing fees from toy companies and has been since the 70s.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sesame_Workshop [wikipedia.org]

TL:DR version:
1) your a completely misinformed idiot
2) you dont know what you're talking about
3) you need to learn some basic research skills

Someone doesnt know how big cable works... (2)

Lumpy (12016) | about a year and a half ago | (#43346131)

"Aereo’s technological setup, the court found, basically allows it to do what cable companies could not: retransmit broadcast airwaves without paying licensing fees."

If you think cable companies pay licensing fees to carry local channels then you have no idea how the cable tv business works.

When I worked at Comcast we used to strong arm all the locals by simply not carrying them if they demanded any money. we would just replace their channel with a black screen that says "WZPX is trying to extort money out of you and raise your cable bill. Call them at 888-888-8888 and tell them how you feel"

It was usually about 3 days and the station would call back and say they were ok with us carrying them for free.

Re:Someone doesnt know how big cable works... (1)

rossdee (243626) | about a year and a half ago | (#43346829)

A few years back the owner of the local NBC station (and also the local CBS station) had a dissagreement with the cable company and we were without NBC for a while. (There was another CBS channel broadcasting in our local area so we still had CBS). I think the cable company eventually gave in and paid for the local content since it couldn't legally offer us any other NBC station. Of course this is a smaller cable company than comcast, and the owner of the NBC station is a media conglomerate from Texas and the phone company offered another choice of TV provider.

But these days I only wath the local TV for news and wweather anyway, NBC has few shows I would watch.

Re:Someone doesnt know how big cable works... (1)

acoustix (123925) | about a year and a half ago | (#43347855)

When I worked at Comcast we used to strong arm all the locals by simply not carrying them if they demanded any money. we would just replace their channel with a black screen that says "WZPX is trying to extort money out of you and raise your cable bill. Call them at 888-888-8888 and tell them how you feel"

It was usually about 3 days and the station would call back and say they were ok with us carrying them for free.

What you are describing is "must-carry" status. If a station labels themselves as "must-carry" then they cannot demand compensation from the cable or satellite provider. However, many of these stations are changing from must-carry status to retransmission consent status where they can charge for their content. Since many of the commercial must-carry stations are usually affiliates of nation-wide broadcast networks (ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, etc) they have realized that they can make more money by charging fees for their content instead of advertising being their only source of revenue. We are seeing more and more of this with media groups like Sinclair changing their stations' status from must-carry to retransmission consent. Consumers don't like their bills going up, but they also don't want to lose the local news/weather and national programming.

Re:Someone doesnt know how big cable works... (2)

Lumpy (12016) | about a year and a half ago | (#43360589)

TV stations that lose "must carry" status can not complain if I insert TV commercials Over theirs effectively taking their advertising revenue. At comcast we did that to the local FOX affiliate that went that way. they whined big time and then negotiated away their fees so that we wold not cover up their commercials with our commercials.

Note: every commercial break the cable and sattelite company can cover up 50% of the TV commercials with their own. Thats how your local car dealer get's his ad's on SyFy and Discovery.

see eg Telstra vs Optus (1)

os2fan (254461) | about a year and a half ago | (#43346207)

Over in Australia, there was a case where Optus was retransmitting broadcasts to their mobile telephones on the claim of 'time shift'.

The ruling is that while it is not illegal for an individual to do this for his own benefit, it is illegal for a company to do it to onsell the service.

Same with the BBC (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43346297)

Now they got their fancy newsrooms they can afford to allow me to pirate all their shows! I pay my tv licence fees!

What about showing NFL games?? they don't have the (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about a year and a half ago | (#43346385)

What about showing NFL games?? they don't have the rights to show them out of area same thing for FOX MLB games.

Also local games as well WGN can not show all of the bulls games on wgn america and no blackhawks games on wgn america.

Re:What about showing NFL games?? they don't have (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43347845)

They base your area off your billing address, and currently (unless they have already started their announced expansion) only cover NYC.

Since they don't allow you to sign up 'out of market' there isn't anything wrong with allowing in market individuals to watch the in market games, even if they happen to access it from their hotel across the country while on vacation just as they would with a slingbox.

Re:What about showing NFL games?? they don't have (2)

frinkster (149158) | about a year and a half ago | (#43349143)

What about showing NFL games?? they don't have the rights to show them out of area same thing for FOX MLB games.

Also local games as well WGN can not show all of the bulls games on wgn america and no blackhawks games on wgn america.

These are examples of licensing agreements between content owners/producers and licensed broadcasters. The law has nothing to do with it.

This particular ruling probably ends up being better than Aereo expected. The court said that Aereo does not engage in public performances, therefore it doesn't need a license to do what it is doing. In the eyes of the court, Aereo is an antenna, a DVR, a Slingbox and a really long network cable. It doesn't matter how long the network cable is, and it doesn't matter if you own the equipment or rent it. Since it doesn't matter how long the network cable is, it doesn't matter if it is so long that your antenna is located in a different broadcast area.

Keep in mind that this court ruling is about a preliminary injunction in a lawsuit. Aereo still has the actual trial ahead of it (probably more than a year away). But if Aereo wins, I don't think they will have any geographic limitations applied to their business. You could live in California and rent an antenna in NYC.

and if they win it will be the end of NFL ticket & (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43350053)

and if they win it will be the end of NFL ticket & maybe even NFL games on OTA TV.

Re:and if they win it will be the end of NFL ticke (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43353623)

Great. Here's hoping it succeeds.

I'm an unbundling fan. I'm such a big fan of unbundling I think all video media should be unbundled right down to the show level. If this company's crowd of antennas scheme is a force in that direction, more power to them.

Hmm (2)

Grizzley9 (1407005) | about a year and a half ago | (#43346781)

Could they not just host overseas and then re"broadcast" back to the US? Any program there are numerous sites transmitting a live feed of from overseas. I always wondered about the legality of that since they are not part of the US copyright system.

Re:Hmm (1)

psydeshow (154300) | about a year and a half ago | (#43350159)

Could they not just host overseas and then re"broadcast" back to the US? Any program there are numerous sites transmitting a live feed of from overseas. I always wondered about the legality of that since they are not part of the US copyright system.

They would need bigger antennas, wouldn't they?

Though I guess they could put a boat in international waters off the coast of NYC and stream whatever signal they could pick up.

Aereo? Whois? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43346911)

Great summary, all about a company I had never heard of, with no link. Thanks, guys.

For those of you who are not geeks from NYC...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aereo

Seems like a crazy hack, (one complete setup, including antenna, per user) to get around crazy laws, but one which actually is working, based on this judgement.

Kinda sucks that also as a result of said batshit laws, service will not work for you once your are "out of normal broadcast range". *cough* personal VPN *cough*

From wikip:

Aereo's technology allows subscribers to view live broadcast content and to record it for later viewing. As of October 2012, Aereo can be installed on Mac & PC using a compatible browser, and iOS devices...

As of June 2012, the service offers 28 channels, including all major broadcast channels. In August 2012, the company announced new monthly and yearly pricing options, $1 a day and 'Aereo Try for Free.' Monthly plans start at $8 for 20 hours of DVR storage and $12 for 40 hours of storage. A yearly subscription is $80.

The service is only available to customers in New York City. During times when customers venture out of the normal broadcasting range for network television in New York City, they will not be able to access the service.

Aereo is able to provide this service by leasing to each user an individual remote antenna. Thousands of them are stored in a data center in Brooklyn where it also houses its data servers. This distinguishes Aereo from purely internet-based streaming services.

Wait a minute. (2)

spyke252 (2679761) | about a year and a half ago | (#43347359)

“The court said Aereo “provides the functionality of three devices: a standard TV antenna, a DVR, and a Slingbox” device. Each of these devices is legal, so it stands to reason that a service that combines them is also legal." I definitely feel there's a way to abuse this "Combinations of legal devices are legal". I mean, webservers are legal, and CD rippers are legal, so putting ripped CDs on a webserver should be legal too, right?

Re:Wait a minute. (2)

wierd_w (1375923) | about a year and a half ago | (#43348441)

If you have copyright granted redistribution rights to the cd image file contents, then yes. Putting ripped CD images on a webserver *IS* perfectly legal.

The scenario you painted is not a good comparison to this judgement.

A dvr allows you to record live a live stream, and then play it back later. It is legal under rulings related to vcr devices. A slingbox does a point to point retransmission from a remote media source to the recipient. It is basically a cleaner version of watching (well trying to anyway...) a movie over RDP.

In both cases, it is presumed that the user has legal rights to the media being recorded, and has limited rights to timeshift and transcode the content into a format suitable for their viewer. Those rights come directly from being within the broadcast area, and being legit customers.

This device requires the user to physically have the reception equipment inside the service area, which then prevents it from running foul of that regional licensing, and the previously held rulings.

eg, to make it fit with your webserver + cd image analogy, we have to do a lot of shoehorning:

1) we have to assume (an absurd ruling exists to permit) that simplying in a certain region immediately grants you access to a specific disk's contents.

2) you place that disk in a drive attached to the webserver, which you operate in a remote location that is within the 'authorized playing area'.

3) only you are then able to access the contents of that disk remotely.

When seen this way, what the TV broadcasters are offering is this:

*a 'disk' that immediately self destructs after being played
*a limited personal use only right to record subsequently re-view the playback of the disk, and a right to view the contents of the played back disk, dependent upon your home address.
*a defacto ability to convert that recording into another format.

What they are objecting to:

*recording the playback, per bulleted item 2, within the authorized viewing area, per bullet 2, of the disk provided per bullet 1, re-coding that recording per bullet 3, and then viewing that re-coded recording outside of the authorized viewing area.

In other words, what they are objecting to is functionally identical to what happens if I physically pack my DVR with me when I leave the authorized viewing area, and view my legal recordings while on vacation. The only difference is the degree of time shifting. (The Aerero timeshifts a few seconds from live broadcast time. Packing one of my DVRs with me on vacation timeshifts several hours to several days from live broadcast time. Otherwise the effect is exactly the same: I am viewing their regional programming "outside the viewing area."

Much like the quip about quibbling over the price of prostitution(1), these companies are quibbling over the amount of time delay between local broadcast, and viewing of a legally made recording.

([1), a wealthy man candidly asks an attractive woman if she will have sex with him for 10 million dollars. She says yes. He offers her 10 dollars. She is insensed, and demands to know what kind of woman he thinks she is. He calmly replies: madame, we have already established that you are a prostitute, we are just haggling over the price.")

Re:Wait a minute. (1)

IwantToKeepAnon (411424) | about a year and a half ago | (#43402819)

I definitely feel there's a way to abuse this "Combinations of legal devices are legal". I mean, webservers are legal, and CD rippers are legal, so putting ripped CDs on a webserver should be legal too, right?

Agreed. A screwdriver is legal unless you are pulled over in a stolen car and the ignition is popped out, then if the police find a screwdriver you are in possession of a felony tool. You don't even need 1 or 2 other legal devices.

Re:Wait a minute. (1)

yurtinus (1590157) | about a year and a half ago | (#43404517)

Eh, very important distinction: The use of each device they are combining is perfectly legal. Using an antenna to capture over the air TV is legal. Using a DVR to time-shift that broadcast is legal. Using a Slingbox to place-shift that broadcast is also legal. So, a single device or service combining these is perfectly sensible. In your analogy (and kudos for the car analogy!), that key "stolen car" step breaks it.

Similar idea (1)

NewWorldDan (899800) | about a year and a half ago | (#43347433)

I had a similar idea for streaming movies. I just don't have the time or the resources to try and do it.

Put together a server room filled with DVD towers and literally stream the discs directly to the customer in real time. I'm actually surprised that no one is doing this right now. Or, for all I know, someone is doing this and I just don't know about it.

Re:Similar idea (2)

PRMan (959735) | about a year and a half ago | (#43348065)

Re:Similar idea (1)

psydeshow (154300) | about a year and a half ago | (#43350215)

The judge said that the viewers were members of the public, therefore when Zediva played a DVD for a subscriber it was a "public performance". Ridiculous.

So if my apartment building (a private residence) wanted to do the same thing - shared DVD jukebox in the basement - it would be just fine. Woo hoo!

The Aereo Decision is Probably Final (3, Informative)

pdabbadabba (720526) | about a year and a half ago | (#43347483)

A small point: TFS says that both rulings are likely to be appealed, but the Aereo decision was actually from the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals. So, unless the Supreme Court takes the case next term (extremely unlikely) that decision is final.

Been there, done that (1)

talexb (223672) | about a year and a half ago | (#43349021)

This sounds a lot like I Crave TV (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ICraveTV). Only 13 years ago, and already ancient history. Interesting. Time moves quickly.

Jumping the gun (2)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | about a year and a half ago | (#43349505)

This is just an appeal of an appeal of a denial of a preliminary injunction in the actual suit. As such it's interesting but it really says very little about how this in going to work out in the long run.

One can hope but I wouldn't be investing much money in this company just yet. It's got a long legal path in front of it.

Don't count your chickens - this is a LONG way from being settled.

BROADCASTING- think about the word (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43350093)

Sometimes, something is so ubiquitous, you never really think about it properly. The word 'broadcasting' has a very special meaning most people choose to ignore. Broadcasters are people/companies given special rights by the government, and as a consequence they have duties to live up to. When you 'broadcast' you are expected to make your service available to as many people as possible in the licensed reception area. That is the whole point. As a consequence, the government takes a dim view of broadcasters who want their cake and eat it too.

Boosting availability of a broadcast service (with the license agreement) is not seen as a breech of copyright. The concept of broadcasting is GREATER than the concept of copyright. Think! Can you both dribble about copyright AND attempt to make your content freely available to as many people in the broadcast area as possible. NO. To be a broadcaster, you MUST give up one aspect of copyright protection- that ability to limit who gets your content during the period of broadcast. How on Earth can people be so thick as not to get this? By definition, another (unrelated) company acting to make the broadcast more effective cannot be breaking copyright law.

This concept is way more important in the age of cabled broadcast transmissions, where you may need a cable service to receive broadcast channels in your area. Do you really think the gov would give a broadcast license to company A, and then allow company A to screw over the customers of cable company B? It doesn't work that way- not with BROADCASTING. Narrowcasting (pay channels) are a very different case.

An Internet service that boosts broadcasting is no different from a cable company that carries these same channels.

As for reselling MP3s, well courts know this MUST be allowed under the first sale doctrine, but obviously feel that restrictions on digital copying carry similar weight at this time. The complication of the first sale doctrine is that the consumer has the right to resell WITHOUT having to re reference the original seller- so solutions requiring authorisation by the original reseller (say be deregistering and reregistering DRM keys) are far from idea in law. The MP3 file is NOT a service, but has the problem of not being a physical item either. Redigi is correct in law, but will likely lose, only to see a much bigger player re-introduce a similar service which the courts recognise as fully legal. And NO, for you idiots that don't get it, requiring a person to also 'sell' the physical device (memory-card, HDD, etc) that holds the MP3 file is not an acceptable compromise.

Will this work for the NFL? (1)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | about a year and a half ago | (#43403059)

I live in KC, but I want to watch Pittsburgh Steelers games. There is NO economically reasonable way to do this through a whole NFL season besides paying for a DirectTV contract (maybe $75-95/month) on TOP of their NFL package which is about $350 or so. So, to watch one team play the 10 or so games that won't be nationally televised, I'm expected to pay about $1000, or $100 each!

If I could just get day passes for just the televised game days, that looks like it's only $1.

PBS Party To Suit (1)

bostonidealist (2009964) | about a year and a half ago | (#43438607)

As a strong financial and moral supporter of PBS, I am simultaneously appreciative of PBS's even-handed coverage [pbs.org] of the Aereo story and disappointed by their participation in the suit.

There's much to dislike about Aereo's business model. The company's technical and legal maneuverings allow them to excessively monetize an otherwise low-cost service. Like so many water bottling companies, they provide a small convenience, and they should be allowed to, but there are good philosophical and financial reasons not to buy what they're peddling.

The larger story is that the trajectory for all broadcast media is obvious: consumers will always push for free, accessible content. Aereo's service is just a stopgap and will ultimately fizzle out along with Viacom, News Corporation, and their peers [frugaldad.com] .

That's what makes PBS's position in this all the more troubling. PBS actually has one of the only viable and worthwhile models: viewer-supported broadcasting [pbs.org] . Given that PBS survives on the generosity and goodwill of its viewers and that its viewers clearly want accessibility, they should focus on delivering what viewers want - open, free, accessible content - directly to their audience. They've made huge inroads over the past few years with their online services but come on, go for broke and put everything that you can online. That's the best way to cut out the middlemen, outpace the hamstrung big medias, deliver uncompromised programming, and win the hearts, minds, and support of the public.

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