TV over the Internet? - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

TV over the Internet?

Posted: Updated:

The Supreme Court will decide whether a startup company can offer live television broadcasts over the Internet without paying fees to broadcasters.
    
The high court agreed on Friday to hear an appeal from television broadcast networks in their attempt to shut down Aereo Inc., which takes free signals from the airwaves and sends them over the Internet to paying subscribers.
    
Broadcasters have sued Aereo for copyright infringement. The big networks have supplemented their advertising revenue with fees from cable and satellite TV companies for redistributing their stations to subscribers. If customers drop their pay-TV service and use Aereo, broadcasters would lose some of that revenue.
    
The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled last year Aereo did not violate the copyrights of broadcasters with its service but a similar service has been blocked by other judges.
    
Aereo claims what it is doing is legal because it has thousands of tiny antennas at its data centers and assigns individual subscribers their own antenna. According to Aereo, that makes it akin to customers picking up free broadcast signals with a regular antenna at home.
    
Aereo's service starts at $8 a month and currently covers New York, Boston, Houston and Atlanta, among others. Subscribers get about two dozen local over-the-air stations, plus the Bloomberg TV financial channel.
    
"We believe that consumers have a right to use an antenna to access over-the-air television and to make personal recordings of those broadcasts," said Aereo CEO and founder Chet Kanojia. "The broadcasters are asking the Court to deny consumers the ability to use the cloud to access a more modern-day television antenna and DVR. If the broadcasters succeed, the consequences to consumers and the cloud industry are chilling."
    
Broadcasters have argued that the use of individual antennas is a mere technicality meant to circumvent copyright law and threatens their ability to produce marquee sports or awards show events, including the Academy Awards, the Grammys and the Super Bowl. CBS, Fox and Univision television networks are among those that say they might end their free broadcasts and become a subscription-only channel like CNN, Nickelodeon and Discovery if Aereo is successful.
    
"We believe that Aereo's business model, and similar offerings that operate on the same principle, are built on stealing the creative content of others. We are pleased that our case will be heard and we look forward to having our day in court," CBS said in a statement.
    
A cable company took a middle ground on the issue. "Cablevision remains confident that while the Aereo service violates copyright, the Supreme Court will find persuasive grounds for invalidating Aereo without relying on the broadcasters' overreaching - and wrong -  copyright arguments that challenge the legal underpinning of all cloud-based services," spokeswoman Lisa Anselmo said.
    
A New York City-based federal appeals court in 2008 ruled that Cablevision Systems Corp. could offer a remote DVR service without paying additional licensing fees to broadcasters because each playback transmission was made to a single subscriber using a single unique copy produced by that subscriber.
    
This comes as Aereo announced Tuesday that it has secured $34 million in additional funding from outside investors to help it expand beyond the 10 metropolitan areas it currently serves. It will also allow Aereo to develop apps for additional devices, such as Internet-connected TVs and game consoles and battle copyright-infringement lawsuits filed by broadcasters like the one before the Supreme Court.
    
Justice Samuel Alito is not taking part in the Aereo arguments but the court did not give a reason.
    
The Aereo case was one of eight the court decided to grant Friday, most of which will be argued in April. Included in those are complaints by an anti-abortion group in Ohio over a state law that bars false statements about political candidates or ballot initiatives and a labelling dispute between POM Wonderful and the Coca-Cola Co. over a pomegranate- and blueberry-flavored drink made up almost entirely of apple and grape juices.
    
The court also said it will take up an aspect of the long-running fight between Argentina and hedge funds that are trying to collect a billion-dollar judgment on debts stemming from the country's 2001 crisis. The new case centers on efforts by the hedge funds to locate where Argentina keeps assets in banks in the U.S. and around the world. Argentina is appealing a lower court ruling upholding subpoenas issued to two banks in New York.
 

  • RegionalMore>>

  • Farmers make proactive steps to reduce runoff

    Farmers make proactive steps to reduce runoff

    Monday, September 1 2014 4:36 PM EDT2014-09-01 20:36:19 GMT
    Many farmers have their soil professionally tested every year and they only add the recommended nutrients on their crops. They are doing what they can to keep chemicals out of the runoff.
    Many farmers have their soil professionally tested every year and they only add the recommended nutrients on their crops. They are doing what they can to keep chemicals out of the runoff.
  • Man found dead in barn fire, woman escapes

    Man found dead in barn fire, woman escapes

    Monday, September 1 2014 4:22 PM EDT2014-09-01 20:22:09 GMT
    One man is dead after an overnight barn fire in northern Monroe County.The sheriff's office says that barn went up in flames just before 1 a.m. Monday.It happened outside of Carelton, MI, near the intersection of Colf and Sumpter.Investigators say a 54-year-old lived in an apartment above the barn. His body was found inside.According to deputies, the man's girlfriend managed to get out alive, with burns on her hands and feet.The sheriff is waiting to release the man's identity until his famil...
    One man is dead after an overnight barn fire in northern Monroe County.The sheriff's office says that barn went up in flames just before 1 a.m. Monday.It happened outside of Carelton, MI, near the intersection of Colf and Sumpter.Investigators say a 54-year-old lived in an apartment above the barn. His body was found inside.According to deputies, the man's girlfriend managed to get out alive, with burns on her hands and feet.The sheriff is waiting to release the man's identity until his famil...
  • Body recovered, 8 rescued overnight in Indian Lake

    Body recovered, 8 rescued overnight in Indian Lake

    Monday, September 1 2014 11:01 AM EDT2014-09-01 15:01:12 GMT
    LAKEVIEW, Ohio (AP) - Authorities recovered the body of a 22-year-old man from a western Ohio lake after responding to a call about a sinking boat. An Ohio Department of Natural Resources statement says eight of the nine people on the boat were rescued. State watercraft officers say they received the call about a boat sinking on Indian Lake north of the Lakeview boat ramp around 12:30 a.m. Sunday. Crews from area fire departments had already safely pulled the eight people from the water when ...
    LAKEVIEW, Ohio (AP) - Authorities recovered the body of a 22-year-old man from a western Ohio lake after responding to a call about a sinking boat. An Ohio Department of Natural Resources statement says eight of the nine people on the boat were rescued. State watercraft officers say they received the call about a boat sinking on Indian Lake north of the Lakeview boat ramp around 12:30 a.m. Sunday. Crews from area fire departments had already safely pulled the eight people from the water when ...
  • Top StoriesMore>>

  • Major construction project could tie up traffic

    Major construction project could tie up traffic

    Monday, September 1 2014 6:20 PM EDT2014-09-01 22:20:52 GMT
     A major construction project is about to start along State Route 420 in Wood County and that could mean delays for drivers, but ODOT hopes it will eventually clear up congestion.
     A major construction project is about to start along State Route 420 in Wood County and that could mean delays for drivers, but ODOT hopes it will eventually clear up congestion.
  • Early Head Start aims to offer services for whole family

    Early Head Start aims to offer services for whole family

    Monday, September 1 2014 5:44 PM EDT2014-09-01 21:44:51 GMT
    Students in Toledo's Head Start program are headed back to school soon. For the first time the program is being run by Toledo Public Schools.
    Students in Toledo's Head Start program are headed back to school soon. For the first time the program is being run by Toledo Public Schools.
  • Olive Garden restaurants honor first responders with free lunch

    Olive Garden restaurants honor first responders with free lunch

    Monday, September 1 2014 6:13 PM EDT2014-09-01 22:13:04 GMT
    Workers at Olive Garden have developed an amazing relationship with the people who keep us safe. So they decided to honor police and fire with a free lunch.
    Workers at Olive Garden have developed an amazing relationship with the people who keep us safe. So they decided to honor police and fire with a free lunch.

Area Events Calendar

See It, Shoot It, Send It!