Broadcast Television on Your Phone? | ABC v. Aereo

Broadcast Television on Your Phone? | ABC v. Aereo


Mr. Beat presents Supreme Court Briefs New York City March 14th, 2012 A company called Oreo launches. Uh yeah, they provide the best cookies around, and Hold up…wait a minute…my mistake, I’m sorry. A company called Aereo launches, allowing people to view live broadcast television on Internet-connected devices. For $8 to $12 a month, viewers could access the airwaves on their phone or tablet no matter where they were. Well a bunch of broadcasting companies didn’t like that so much. Two weeks before the launch, ABC, CBS, NBC, and FOX had all sued Aereo, arguing that the company threatened their copyrighted material because the streaming of live broadcast television in this way counted as a “public performance,” which means they needed to get a special license. The four broadcasting companies argued that Aereo broke part of the interestingly named Cable Television Consumer Protection and Competition Act, which said you have to negotiate with broadcasters before you carry their signals. ABC, CBS, NBC, and FOX all basically said Aereo was stealing both their programming and customers. After the broadcasting companies failed to stop the launch of Aereo in federal court, they appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. This court agreed with the lower court, saying Aereo had the right to do this as their streams to subscribers were not “public performances,” so there wasn’t copyright infringement. This happened on April 1, 2013. By this time, Aereo was quickly growing and expanding across the country, getting awesome reviews from both the media and customers. But the broadcasting companies weren’t done yet…obviously. I’ve found corporations tend to have a lot of money to take others to court, for some strange reason. Anyway, the broadcasters appealed to the Supreme Court, and on January 10, 2014, the Court agreed to hear the case. This time around, the broadcasters had lots of allies, including the NFL, Major League Baseball, the Department of Justice, the United States Copyright Office, and some judge in the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, who blocked Aereo in his district. Probably due to those allies, it was not looking good for Aereo. On June 25, 2014, the Court ruled in favor of the broadcasters, 6-3, and against Aereo. The Court explained Aereo was definitely breaking copyright law as it acted like a cable company that rebroadcasted copyrighted content. Justice Antonin Scalia wrote for the dissenting minority, saying the Court should not be making judgements on new technologies- it was the job of Congress. Before the Supreme Court decision, Aereo had about 80,000 subscribers. Well, three days after the decision, they all lost the service. Aereo filed for bankruptcy on November 21, 2014, and was later bought by TiVo for $1 million. American Broadcasting Companies, Inc. v. Aereo, Inc. kept the status quo in broadcasting. Many argue it limited innovation. Critics say it’s likely the consumers who were the ones who got screwed over the most in this one. I’ll see you for the next Supreme Court case, jury!

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    Block Master

    Aereo wasn't allowed to broadcast Live TV because the Broadcasting Companies had apps so it's clear there is Copyright

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    Knowing Better

    Gonna have to side with the broadcast companies on this one. Looks like Aereo was just freebooting in this case – and charging its customers a small monthly fee.

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    Boof_That_Jawn

    Very interesting case and though I disagree with the man vehemently on many issues, I think Scalia is right in this case; it's not the court's job to decide what the law around new media or technologies is: that's why we have an elected congress!

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    Bryan Colley

    This doesn't really explore the issue fully. All this was doing was giving access to freely broadcast TV signals to devices that don't have built in TV tuners. Aereo did everything it could to comply with the law including a bunch of ridiculous and unnecessary things technologically like providing each customer with its own remote antennae. The Supreme Court's decision basically had no rationality behind it besides "these companies don't like what you are doing so we're going to stop you from doing it." They also didn't allow Aereo to negotiate retransmission fees the way cable companies do simply because Aereo wasn't a cable company. The broadcasting companies simply wanted it shut down, and they finally got what they wanted.

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    Harry Christofi

    Hey Matt corporations are evil period lol because back in the 1980s we had about 50 mainstream media companies while today there are only 5 which is why we need a Federal Government that will actually enforce antitrust acts lol www.justicedemocrats.com

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    greatgerbil

    I don't agree with the SCOTUS, because they are public broadcasters…they use an allocated amount of public broadcast EM space. Also unlike Cable Aereo doesn't need to have a monopoly because of limited amount of space for wires. So We can conclude that: A. Yes, They are acting like cable companies but B. they shouldn't have the regulation of cable companies. And C. the broadcasting companies shouldn't push around their copyright because it is freely available over the air.

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    Brianna Dayton

    Hey Mr Beat!

    What was your major and do you have any advice for a high school student approaching their senior year, considering maybe going to school to become a history teacher?

    History is something I truly love and I think teaching it would be incredibly fulfilling.

    Thanks!

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    Richard Thompson

    Great video, some points missed.

    Aereo had:
    1 antenna per 1 subscriber AND
    You could not watch any channel outside of your broadcast area (zip code based) AND
    You could only watch your local channels while physically inside your local area (on any device that Aereo supported)

    They effectively extended your antenna and really tried to play by the local broadcasting rules.

    Cable companies are (usually) getting the streamed broadcasts then rebroadcasted to many (1 to many).

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    Zsewq The Wolf

    heres the problem it was an old dog fighting an up hill battle, now we watch hulu and many other things beside there air wave. They should have made there own apps to combat this and make it better then aereo did, but no they have to butt in and let the gorvment give them a flipping milk bottle

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    Vidyagamesnake

    What a BS case. Aereo has a right to compete and provide quality services the other companies weren't providing. Aereo should had to pay any relating cost obtaining the rights to show and broadcasting it through the internet.

    Destroying business and innovation instead of trying to adapt to it, just another victim in the piracy argument rather than trying to make money on a hugely expanding market

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    Nysguy2003

    I dont get this. Whats the difference between me watching local TV on my phone, or walking around with a digital TV and watching it for free anyway??

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    Jurij Fedorov

    Alito, Thomas and Scalia. I bet you you wouldn't have thought 3 conservative justices would support free market this much and go against huge companies like this. But here we are. This is why we need judges with libertarian values on as many areas as possible.

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    TheSSUltimateGoku

    I’m gonna be completely honest I never even heard of this Ariole company until this video. However I absolutely agree with the broadcaster here. They don’t have the license or contents from the broadcasters that own the program means that they’re sharing for them to have the right to Broadcast it. I honestly can’t believe that they had to go all the way to the supreme court to get this ruling the way it was this should’ve been a no brainer that this was copyright. It may be new technology but they can’t just take content that they don’t own an air on their device without the permission of the companies that own the rights to that contents. It may be new technology but they don’t have the rights to test other Companies contents. Without their permission!

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