Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter


Forgot your password?
Television The Courts The Internet The Media Your Rights Online

Major Networks Suing To Stop Free Streaming 250

AstroPhilosopher writes "In a move similar to Hollywood's attempt to have the Supreme Court ban VCRs back in the 80's, ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC and Univision are set to appear in court next month to urge a New York federal judge to block Aereo. 'Aereo lets those in New York who want to watch on their iPad what they can pull down for free from the public airwaves to their TV with an antenna.' The networks, however, say Aereo will cause irreparable harm to their business. Aereo's conduct apparently causes them to 'lose control over the dissemination of their copyrighted programming, disrupts their relationships with licensed distributors and viewers and usurps their right to decide how and on what terms to make available and license content over new internet distribution media.'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Major Networks Suing To Stop Free Streaming

Comments Filter:
  • by hodet ( 620484 ) on Friday April 13, 2012 @12:28PM (#39675081)
    I assume the place shifting thing is a problem. The article mentions you rent antennas from Aero which to me would mean that you could get local area streams no matter where you live. I can already stream my own local area OTA with a Slingbox, not sure if that is also a problem for the Networks. But this seems to take it a bit far. I admit I read this quickly and may be missing something here.
  • by hawguy ( 1600213 ) on Friday April 13, 2012 @12:35PM (#39675189)

    When I read the summary, I assumed that the customer installed an Aereo box at home and used their own internet connection to stream the content to their iPad. This seems like a clear case of fair use - I should be able to watch my home TV service (even over the air TV) on any device I want. However, what the Aereo service does is host thousands of tiny antennas in a datacenter, and rents an individual antenna to each user, no box at home needed.

    Sounds like an interesting attempt to allow rebroadcasting, but I can see why the networks have a problem with it. They don't want someone in San Francisco watching TV (and ads) from New York - it dilutes their ability to sell targeted ads and reduces the value of network affiliates. Ever if Aereo claims to do address verification, there are many ways to get a mailing address in New York, but it would be harder to do that if they required a physical box to be the receiver.

  • by cpu6502 ( 1960974 ) on Friday April 13, 2012 @12:35PM (#39675191)

    Over the years the FCC has granted to local stations the right to charge for their product. Cable companies pay about 1 cent per station (per household)* for the rights to rebroadcast local stations over their wires. This "Aereo" service may have to abide by the same rules.

    *Yet another reason I use a CM4228 antenna; I get the locals free without charge.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 13, 2012 @12:39PM (#39675273)

    Generally speaking, if someone is rebroadcasting content, they have to pay a licensing fee. A Slingbox is okay because it's your own device rebroadcasting to you--fair use. The issue against Aero is that it's Aero's device rebroadcasting to you. However, since Aero has dedicated antennas for each user, it's essentially a remote Slingbox system for freely available broadcast. Hopefully the courts will see it as such and Aero doesn't go bankrupt from fighting this.

  • by dmacleod808 ( 729707 ) on Friday April 13, 2012 @12:46PM (#39675437)
    Obviously neither you or anyone else in this thread did a little research... From Aereo's webpage: "Aereo is available exclusively in New York City"
  • Re:Derp, Meet Herp (Score:5, Informative)

    by dkleinsc ( 563838 ) on Friday April 13, 2012 @01:33PM (#39676351) Homepage

    I'm very surprised you haven't made mention of the guy who best articulated the importance of breaking unjust laws:
    Henry David Thoreau: Civil Disobedience []

    To give you an idea as to how important that essay was, it was specifically cited by Mohandes Gandhi, Martin Luther King, and Nelson Mandela. And of course the title has lent its name to most non-violent resistance movements.

  • by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Friday April 13, 2012 @02:33PM (#39677341) Homepage

    "Then you have to encode to video packets, and put it on the network. That too can take a little computing power."

    You dont know how ATSC video is transmitted.

    ATSC is a MPEG2 Transport stream. there is no "encode to video packets" as it's already video packets. there is ZERO computing power to take a OTA TV station and stream it onto the internet. IT's simply changing from wireless to wire the file stream stays the same.

    It's why I can record 20 ATSC or QAM channels at the same time using a old Pentium III to a U SCSI hard drive. all I am doing is moving bits.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 13, 2012 @03:43PM (#39678305)

    I guess you missed this one []

Air is water with holes in it.