Friday, January 30, 2015
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Aereo presses case despite Supreme Court setback

By
From page B6 | July 11, 2014 |

NEW YORK  — Aereo, the television-over-the-Internet service that suspended operations after the Supreme Court ruled against it, is refusing to disband for good.

The company is now using the Supreme Court’s own language to force broadcasters to treat it just like a cable TV company. In Aereo’s view, that means broadcasters must license their signals to Aereo under a 1976 copyright law.

But the Supreme Court actually stopped short of declaring Aereo a cable company, and previous court rulings have said Internet-based services don’t qualify. Even if Aereo is considered a cable company, a 1996 communications law overrides some of the guarantees that Aereo is seeking.

“It’s probably going to be an uphill battle,” said Seth Davidson, an Edwards Wildman Palmer attorney who specializes in communications and copyright law. “It’s Aereo’s last shot. I see no downside to them in trying.”

Until Aereo voluntarily suspended service on June 28, it was streaming live and recorded television shows to customers’ tablets, phones and other gadgets. Prices started at $8 a month. Aereo claimed it wasn’t anything like a cable company because each customer was temporarily assigned an individual antenna about the size of a dime. Aereo argued that the arrangement was no different from customers who put their own antennas on rooftops.

The Supreme Court rejected Aereo’s argument, saying that the company acted like a cable system, so its service constituted a public performance subject to copyright royalties and licensing.

Now, Aereo says that if that’s the case, it should be allowed to retransmit signals under what’s called a compulsory licensing arrangement. In essence, a cable company is allowed to pick up the broadcast signal without reaching a licensing deal with the station. The U.S. Copyright Office then calculates royalties based partly on the cable company’s revenue.

An Aereo rival, FilmOn, made a similar case after the Supreme Court’s ruling. It used to offer the broadcast channels for free after showing video ads. FilmOn started restricting access to paying subscribers so that it, too, could claim to be akin to cable service.

The matter is now before U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan in New York. Nathan must decide whether to grant broadcasters’ request to ban Aereo, which would prevent Aereo from lifting its voluntary suspension. If the judge agrees that Aereo is a cable company, then Aereo could resume operations, regardless of the Supreme Court’s ruling.

In a separate case, a federal appeals court ruled previously that an Internet-based television service called Ivi didn’t qualify as a cable system and thus wasn’t entitled to compulsory licensing. In a court filing Wednesday, Aereo took the position that the Supreme Court overruled the Ivi decision by deeming Aereo a cable system.

But that’s a stretch, experts say.

“While the Supreme Court’s decision is obviously based on the notion that Aereo looks an awful lot like a cable system, I don’t think it can be said that, as a technical matter, the Supreme Court held that Aereo is a cable system,” said Harry Cole, a communications regulations lawyer at Fletcher, Heald & Hildreth.

Even if Nathan sides with Aereo, it would likely be a short-lived victory. Definitions of cable systems differ under copyright and communications laws, and Davidson said Aereo must count on the Federal Communications Commission not to consider Aereo a cable system under the communications law.

Otherwise, Aereo could be subject to retransmission fees on top of the compulsory royalties. The compulsory fees typically go to content providers, such as the studio that made “The Simpsons” or the musicians behind songs performed on TV. The retransmission fees are what local stations want most, as those compensate them for the actual signals.

“You can’t just cherry pick one fee you want to pay and not pay the other,” said Dennis Wharton, a spokesman with the National Association of Broadcasters.

With the exception of non-commercial, educational stations, broadcasters can simply demand fees that Aereo can’t afford without huge hikes in the rates it charges customers. It’s these kinds of demands that have kept some stations off various cable and satellite TV systems in high-profile disputes in recent years.

 

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

Photographer has a passion for color

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Solano summit focuses on ways to end poverty

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A1, 3 Comments | Gallery

 
Fraud among challenges immigrants face, Fairfield panelists say

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Teens earn right to perform with symphony

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1 | Gallery

From classical to Queen: Chamber Players are ready

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
 
Cadets learn skills for future careers

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

 
Sports aircraft company CEO recalls effort to locate in Solano

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A4 | Gallery

 
‘Souper Bowl’ coming to Solano County

By Bill Hicks | From Page: A4

 
SolTrans announces changes to bus routes

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A5

Fairfield police log: Jan. 28, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12, 1 Comment

 
Suisun City police log: Jan. 28, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

.

US / World

California’s snow survey shows far less snow than last month

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
State to move more than 2,000 inmates

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Boy Scouts reaches settlement in sex abuse case

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Protestors shun sister-city relationship

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
City event criticized for Mexican mafia connection

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Tech advances lower chance that driver will die in car crash

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Fort Hood gunman Hasan says he wants to keep top lawyer

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Attorney General nominee wins GOP endorsements

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Police: Family killed man over child custody dispute

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Killer says his ideas influenced family suicide

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
NASA astronaut memorial stirs memories for shuttle veteran

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

‘Anonymized’ credit card data not so anonymous, study shows

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Poll shows giant gap between what public, scientists think

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Simultaneous attacks in Egypt’s Sinai kill 26

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Indonesian investigators: Crashed AirAsia flown by co-pilot

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10 | Gallery

Gas blast at Mexico children’s hospital, at least 2 dead

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10 | Gallery

 
Families plead for lives of IS hostages as swap hopes fade

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Deadly San Francisco blaze spurs look at fire alarms

By T. Burt McNaughton | From Page: A12 | Gallery

 
.

Opinion

Editorial Cartoon: Jan. 30, 2015

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
 
 
.

Living

Today in History: Jan. 30, 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: Jan. 30, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

My cousin’s 14-year-old son sleeps in the same bed as his grandma

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A9

 
Horoscopes: Jan. 30, 2015

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A9

.

Entertainment

Week in preview Jan. 30 through Feb. 5, 2015

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1

 
‘The Thorn Birds’ author Colleen McCullough dies at age 77

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Hilary Duff, George Lopez help in search for stolen dog

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Justin Bieber apologizes for bad behavior in online video

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Musician Geezer Butler arrested in Death Valley altercation

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Lil Wayne sues mentor’s record label for $51M, seeking split

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Jim Parsons to play God in Broadway’s ‘An Act of God’

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Lady Gaga, Ariana Grande to pay tribute to Stevie Wonder

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Review: A tired gimmick weakens thriller ‘Project Almanac’

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Bernie Mac widow drops malpractice lawsuit against doctor

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Entertainment Calendar: Jan. 30, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: B4

 
TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Desert stars: Celebs converge on Phoenix for Super Bowl 49

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
.

Sports

 
Vanden boys pull away from feisty Fairfield 86-66

By Brian Arnold | From Page: B7

Serena aims for 19th major in Aussie final vs. Sharapova

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
Marshawn Lynch talks about why he doesn’t talk to the media

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

Gronkowski and Chancellor make for must-see Super Bowl matchup

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
This date in sports history for Jan. 30, 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

Signups for Friday, Jan. 30, 2015

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B9

 
.

Business

Chevrolet polishes its mid-size truck

By Ann M. Job | From Page: C1 | Gallery

 
Prospect of Chinese cars in US still remain years away

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

Senate passes Keystone XL bill, battles loom

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

 
McDonald’s under siege as new CEO steps in

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

Obama seeks spending spike for defense, domestic

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11, 1 Comment

 
Who wants a bite of Hershey…jerky?

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

.

Obituaries

Anthony Neal Hunley

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Joseph Phillip Raiff

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 3 Comments

Frank Z. Perez

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Dzhon Athanc

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Gloria Elizabeth Neal

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics

Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9