You choose, we deliver
If you are interested in this story, you might be interested in others from The Journal Gazette. Go to www.journalgazette.net/newsletter and pick the subjects you care most about. We'll deliver your customized daily news report at 3 a.m. Fort Wayne time, right to your email.

U.S.

  • US to assign 3,000 from US military to fight Ebola
      WASHINGTON – The Obama administration is ramping up its response to West Africa’s Ebola crisis, preparing to assign 3,000 U.S.
  • Northern California wildfire burns 100 homes
      WEED, Calif. – A fire driven by fierce winds raced through a small town near the Oregon border on Monday, burning a church to the ground, damaging or destroying 100 homes and prompting evacuation orders for at least 1,500
  • 3 dead in Corpus Christi trailer park shooting
      CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – A 63-year-old man was arrested after three people were killed and a child injured in a shooting at a trailer park in South Texas, according to police.
Advertisement

High court rules against provider of live TV online

– The Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled against video startup Aereo in a sweeping decision that will maintain the status quo for television viewers even as they grow increasingly impatient with the slow movement of TV entertainment away from traditional services and onto the Internet.

Aereo, a small streaming-video service, provided the one piece of content that could prompt more consumers to cancel their cable subscriptions: live television. The company allowed users to view at their convenience football games, awards shows and other programs on the device of their choice for a monthly fee of $8 to $12.

Aereo, combined with Netflix or Hulu and a broadband Internet subscription, promised for some consumers a cheaper a la carte alternative to the big cable bundle.

But in a 6-3 decision, the justices ruled that Aereo violated copyright law because it did not pay the same licensing fees that cable television providers do for the right to retransmit the programs of broadcast networks.

“Aereo performs petitioners’ works publicly,” Justice Stephen Breyer wrote in the court’s opinion. Whether Aereo provided “public” performances of broadcasters’ programs was central to the case.

Aereo argued that it provided “private” performances and that its individually assigned tiny antennas and storage files for viewers put consumers in control of what programs they chose to watch.

The company equated its technology to an antenna and cloud storage rental service.

But the court disagreed, saying that Aereo looks similar to a cable television provider, which under copyright law must pay licensing fees to broadcast networks to carry their programs to subscribers.

“It does not merely supply equipment that allows others to do so,” Breyer wrote.

Aereo CEO Chet Kanojia called the decision a “massive setback for the American consumer” and warned that the high court “sends a chilling message to the technology industry.”

Broadcasters waged a two-year battle against Aereo in multiple lower courts as the specter of Aereo or copycats of the company’s methods and technology posed a major threat to their business.

Advertisement