Light Reading

Aereo Fight Heats Up in DC

Alan Breznick
12/13/2013
50%
50%
Repost This

The clamorous legal fight over Aereo's future is reaching a new crescendo in Washington, D.C., with more cable companies joining the battle and Aereo seeking the Supreme Court's help in resolving the fight.

Aereo Inc. , a video streaming startup backed by former US broadcasting mogul Barry Diller, uses dime-sized antennas on rooftops to collect local TV station signals before streaming them over the Internet to subscribers for a monthly fee. The company, which just expanded to its 10th major market last week, has enraged the US broadcast industry because it refuses to pay retransmission fees for the broadcast programming, unlike cable companies, telcos, and satellite TV providers. (See Aereo Heads to Charm City.)

With all four major US broadcast networks and several other big broadcasters striving to overturn a Second Circuit Court of Appeals and two lower federal court decisions upholding Aereo's service by taking the case to the Supreme Court, Cablevision Systems Corp. (NYSE: CVC) has waded deeper into the morass. In a white paper issued Thursday, the large MSO agrees with the broadcasters that Aereo is violating US copyright law but blasts what it calls the broadcasters' "radical interpretation of copyright law." (See Aereo Headed for Supreme Court?)

Cablevision attacks the broadcasters for gross overreach in their recent petition to the Supreme Court asking it to review the controversial case. The MSO argues that the broadcasters are attempting to use the case to put the kibosh on all cloud-based services, including Cablevision's own remote storage DVR (RS-DVR) service), which the Supreme Court upheld in another big legal fight several years ago.

"In a case about Aereo, the broadcasters go well beyond Aereo and attack the legal underpinning of all cloud-based services, everything from the Apple iCloud to Cablevision's own remote storage DVR service," the white paper says. "In short, the broadcasters are asking the Court to throw the baby out with the bathwater -- a move that could cripple cloud-based innovation in the US."

On the same day that it released the white paper slamming the broadcasters' petition, Cablevision picked up a new ally in fellow MSO Charter Communications Inc. Charter, which is headed by former Cablevision senior executive Tom Rutledge, issued its own, quieter statement Thursday backing Cablevision's position.

"Without getting into the legal merits of the Aereo case itself, we fully support Cablevision's position regarding remote storage DVR and agree that allowing the broadcasters to use the Aereo case to overturn the remote DVR case would be inappropriate and unnecessary," Charter said. "The remote DVR precedent established in the 2nd Circuit should stand."

Charter's entry into the legal fight is notable not just because of Rutledge's recent career arc. Under Rutledge's leadership, Charter has also started pursuing cloud-based video services aggressively, although it hasn't rolled out a cloud-based DVR service like Cablevision's RS-DVR product yet.

In the meantime, Aereo continues to stoke the fire of controversy. In its latest legal comments, the video streaming upstart actually sides with the broadcasters in urging the Supreme Court to take up the case. Although it disputes the claims of broadcasters and Cablevision that its service violates copyright law, the company wants the High Court to settle the matter once and for all.

"While the law is clear and the Second Circuit Court of Appeals and two different federal courts have ruled in favor of Aereo, broadcasters appear determined to keep litigating the same issues against Aereo in every jurisdiction that we enter," said Aereo CEO & Founder Chet Kanojia in a blog on the company's website. "We want this resolved on the merits rather than through a wasteful war of attrition."

It's now up to the Supreme Court to decide whether to take the Aereo case. That decision could be made as early as next month.

— Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading

(18)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Page 1 / 2   >   >>
albreznick
50%
50%
albreznick,
User Rank: Blogger
12/19/2013 | 5:40:12 PM
Re: Aereo Jammers
Don't worry. There's plenty of spectrum out there. And bandwidth uses are getting more efficient all the time. 
mendyk
50%
50%
mendyk,
User Rank: Light Sabre
12/19/2013 | 8:50:43 AM
Re: Aereo Jammers
No doubt it will depend on the subject being teleported. Some of us will require ultra-premium capacity service.
albreznick
50%
50%
albreznick,
User Rank: Blogger
12/18/2013 | 10:54:07 PM
Re: Aereo Jammers
Aha! Well, then teleporting would be pretty useful then. I wonder how much bandwidth that would consume per household.....   
mendyk
50%
50%
mendyk,
User Rank: Light Sabre
12/18/2013 | 5:58:00 PM
Re: Aereo Jammers
Not really -- it's more like I like to go places, but I don't like getting there.
albreznick
50%
50%
albreznick,
User Rank: Blogger
12/18/2013 | 5:47:10 PM
Re: An Aereo Win Would let Cablevision offer Similar Services
I'm not sure either. But it would be something if they tried.
albreznick
50%
50%
albreznick,
User Rank: Blogger
12/18/2013 | 5:43:41 PM
Re: Aereo Jammers
I should have known you were a Star Trek fan deep at heart. I'll have the Federation look into this matter and report back. Watch out for a guy with a phony Scottish accent.   
wanlord
50%
50%
wanlord,
User Rank: Light Sabre
12/18/2013 | 3:35:06 PM
Re: An Aereo Win Would let Cablevision offer Similar Services
Yea, except I am not sure how that would scale if someone like Comcast tried to use similar antenna technology with the amount of subs they have. 
mendyk
50%
50%
mendyk,
User Rank: Light Sabre
12/18/2013 | 1:05:34 PM
Re: Aereo Jammers
Teleporting.
albreznick
50%
50%
albreznick,
User Rank: Blogger
12/18/2013 | 12:28:46 PM
Re: Aereo Jammers
I'm sure we could too. What would you like to see it used for? 
mendyk
50%
50%
mendyk,
User Rank: Light Sabre
12/18/2013 | 9:14:14 AM
Re: Aereo Jammers
Not at all -- over-the-air broadcasting is obsolete as far as video is concerned. I would imagine we could find better uses for all that spectrum.
Page 1 / 2   >   >>
Flash Poll
LRTV Custom TV
Optimizing SDN & NFV Architectures Through Application Awareness

4|23|14   |   6:24   |   (0) comments


Jerome Tollet, CTO at Qosmos, explains how network equipment vendors and operators deploying SDN and NFV can take advantage of network intelligence delivered by DPI to strengthen products and services.
LRTV Custom TV
Wind River Demonstrates Carrier-Grade Software for NFV

4|22|14   |   5:00   |   (0) comments


Wind River VP of Product Management, Glenn Seiler, takes a look the industry's first and only complete NFV software platform designed specifically for the unique carrier-grade and high-performance needs of telecom networks.
LRTV Documentaries
Cable Eyes Big Technology Shifts

4|16|14   |   03:02   |   (4) comments


US cable engineers are facing a lot of heavy lifting in the coming years, notes Light Reading Cable/Video Practice Leader Alan Breznick.
LRTV Custom TV
Maximizing Customer Experience & Assuring Service Delivery in an IP World

4|15|14   |   4:57   |   (0) comments


Steven Shalita, VP of Marketing, NetScout Systems, Inc., discusses the challenges cable/MSO operators face in assuring the delivery of new IP-based services. Key points include the value of proactively managing performance, and using rich analytics and operational intelligence to better understand service and usage trends, make smarter business decisions and ...
LRTV Documentaries
Bye-Bye DVD: Consumers Embrace Digital Video

4|10|14   |   04:17   |   (7) comments


Veteran video analyst Colin Dixon, founder and principal analyst of nScreenMedia, says research shows 56% are using digital video already.
LRTV Documentaries
Video: TW Cable Puts Multicast Gateways to the Test

4|8|14   |   04:13   |   (1) comment


Tom Gonder, a chief architect at Time Warner Cable, explains how its trial of multicast gateways is impacting IP-based video plans.
LRTV Custom TV
Managing & Monetizing Big Data in Operator Environments

4|7|14   |     |   (1) comment


At Mobile World Congress, Gigamon's Director of Service Provider Solutions, Andy Huckridge, and Heavy Reading Analyst Sarah Wallace discuss the 'big data' issues facing carriers and operators today.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Data Center Energy – Build Your Data Center in a Modular Way

4|7|14   |   2:13   |   (0) comments


Dr. Fang Liangzhou, VP Network Energy Product Line, shared his thoughts about the challenges for data centers during CeBIT 2014.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Agile Network Solution – An Overview of Huawei's Agile Network Solution

4|7|14   |   2:31   |   (0) comments


Ajay Gupta, Director of Product Marketing, Networking Product Line, gives an overview of the Agile Network Solutions during CeBIT 2014.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei’s eLTE Voice Trunking, Video and Data Applied for Railways

4|7|14   |   1:38   |   (0) comments


Gottfried Winter is the Sales Director at Funkwerk, a German specialist in GSM-r terminals and a long-time partner of Huawei. At CeBIT 2014, Winter talks to Light Reading about this partnership and the integration of enhanced voice trunking, video and data functions.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
LeaseWeb Speaks Highly of Huawei's Datacenter Products

4|7|14   |   1:37   |   (0) comments


Rene Olde Olthof, Operations Director LeaseWeb, talks about the next data center transformation during CeBIT 2014.
LRTV Documentaries
Comcast: Reshaping the Cable Network Architecture

4|3|14   |   07:11   |   (8) comments


Shamim Akhtar, Comcast's architect and senior director of network strategy, explains why the cable company is moving to a more distributed network architecture.
Hot Topics
WhatsApp Threatens Carrier VoLTE
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 4/18/2014
The Hungry, Hungry Cloud
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 4/22/2014
Who's Ready to Play Broadband?
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 4/21/2014
FCC's 'Middle Ground' Already Under Attack
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 4/24/2014
AT&T Gets 81% of Subs Off Unlimited Data
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 4/22/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed