That Aereo Inc. debacle isn't finished, and it leads off Friday's look at cable and broadband news.
Wednesday's court victory for Aereo might be tenuous. Judge Alison Nathan's decision to not block Aereo's TV service was based on a very literal reading of a famous Cablevision Systems Corp. suit, according to an analysis on the Fortune website Thursday. In Cablevision's case, network DVRs were declared legal because the DVR copy of a show isn't intended for public consumption -- it's created for one subscriber. Aereo's service, which redelivers broadcast TV by sending it over broadband, is philosophically the same.
One distinction: Cablevision was paying for the content that went into a DVR copy. Aereo isn't. Judge Nathan even wrote that Aereo's was created "in reliance on the assumption that the Second Circuit meant what it said in [the Cablevision decision] rather than what it did not say " -- more the letter of the law than the spirit.
The U.S. Department of Justicedoes appear to be the major remaining roadblock to the $3.9 billion spectrum deal between Verizon Wireless and several cable companies. The Wall Street Journalcites sources that say that the DoJ is still concerned that the deal hurts consumers. Antitrust officials are said to be worried that a deal between Verizon and the cable companies could essentially lead to an agreement not to compete for Internet users in each other's areas. (See Verizon Spectrum Debate Escalates.)
Russian cable and broadband provider Akado has lifted its suspension on broadcasts by the British Broadcasting Corp. (BBC), Cable News Network and Bloomberg TV for repeatedly ignoring its requests to obtain licenses, Bloomberg reports Friday. The ban was put in place on July 10, but Akado agreed to lift it after the government's licensing authority said it would step in.
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