from the justice-for-whom dept.
"Following up on our earlier story, the Justice Department has filed in the Supreme Court supporting Broadcasters in their case against Aereo the company that rents a small antenna for each customer, lets them record free to air TV, the streams it back to them anywhere.
The Justice Department argues that by doing so, they are allowing their customers to 'gain access to copyrighted content in the first instance, the same service that cable companies have traditionally provided.' but do so without paying broadcasters a license fee to do so. Aereo has argued that it isn't violating federal copyright laws and isn't threatening the future of the broadcast industry. Company executives have argued in public and in court filings that the service appeals to cord cutters and will help broadcasters keep those viewers."
"Although there are arguments scheduled for 22 April in the Supreme Court, US District Judge Dale Kimball of Utah ruled against Aereo which effectively bans it in Utah along with the rest of the 10th Circuit, which includes Wyoming, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Colorado.
Kimball ruled that Aereo's retransmission of Plaintiffs' copyrighted programs "is indistinguishable from a cable company and falls squarely within the language of the Transmit Clause." He didn't buy Aereo's argument that its system of renting a tiny antenna to each customer allows it to avoid the "Transmit Clause" of the 1976 Copyright Act, which determines what kind of "transmissions" of copyrighted material must pay licensing fees."