The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) has just filed a court brief supporting Aereo TV, a service that allows consumers to stream broadcast TV through a mini antennae to portable devices. The major broadcasters are in the process of suing Aereo TV claiming it's illegally accesses their content.
The CEA Oct. 29 in its brief from CEO Gary Shapiro said the consumer electronics association supports Aereo since its case hinges on principles from the 1984 Supreme Court Sony Betamax case. The court ruled in favor of Sony, a decision that opened the door for the creation of the digital video recorder, VHS and DVD.
Shapiro said the Aereo case, like the Sony Betamax, represents innovative technology allowing people to access free, over-the-air broadcasting. The Sony case introduced the concept of time shifting broadcasting by a VCR; in Aereo, it is accessing free broadcasting through a computer.
In both cases, Shapiro said the technology expands the audience, is consistent with broadcaster-borrowed use of public spectrum for free, over-the-air broadcasting and is being challenged by “old industries.”
CEA's Gary Shapiro is in favor of fostering innovation in the market:
“Our legal system can and must favor innovation over the status quo,” Shapiro said in a statement. “Our American exceptionalism and economic growth rely on innovation and we must fight legacy industries seeking to maintain their old ways of doing business.”
The CEA are not alone in their support for the service:
“Consumers do not need permission to watch free TV,” John Bergmayer, senior staff lawyer with Public Knowledge, said in a statement. “Just as viewers are allowed to use rabbit ears to receive over-the-air broadcasts, they’re allowed to make use of Aereo’s remote antenna service.”
What do you think about these types of emerging services/technologies like Aereo TV?