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Aereo wins lawsuit with broadcasters

post #1 of 33
Thread Starter 
Aereo uses mini antenna tune local channels and stream video to customer's TV.



They just won another battle in appeals court.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/02/business/media/aereo-wins-in-appeals-court-setting-stage-for-trial-on-streaming-broadcast-tv.html?_r=0

I just thought it is very interesting. I think down the road, we may be able to stream east coast TV to west coast easily.
post #2 of 33
The only reason they use the mini-antennas is because of a quirk in copyright law. They could do just as well with one big antenna if it were not for the insanity of our current copyright laws. Laws, I might add, that were written by the lobbyists from the copyright cartels and rubber-stamped by 'our' representatives.

At least it is funny to see them hoist by their own petard here, but if they can't win in court they will just pay to have the law changed.
post #3 of 33
I think they should pay the local broadcasters the retransmit fee if they are going to charge for this service.

There should also be a centralized way to view local tv from around the country, supported by advertisements. Radio has adopted this model and it is time for TV to do the same.
post #4 of 33
Thread Starter 
It will get ugly very quickly when they started paying these local broadcasters. It is hard to define "local". Sometimes you get signal outside of an area. It is also hard to put a price tag on something that is unicasted to a specific customer since they can technically pull the broadcast off the air. The broadcasters are making money off the advertisements anyway.

The real deal, IMO, is in the gray area where a viewer is not anywhere near an area that can receive the broadcast. Which also happens to be something I am interested. I think it is as legal as putting a slingbox in someone's home to stream OTA elsewhere.
post #5 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by macks View Post

I think they should pay the local broadcasters the retransmit fee if they are going to charge for this service.

There should also be a centralized way to view local tv from around the country, supported by advertisements. Radio has adopted this model and it is time for TV to do the same.

They are essentially being paid to house and maintain individual tuners for their users. The courts have already affirmed TV watcher's rights when it comes to recording, time/place shifting etc so really the only difference here is that you are outsourcing some of these functions. It just shows the sorry state of broadcast competition that none of them came up with the idea first.
post #6 of 33
Assuming the price is good (not sure what they charge), this would be great for those that want to cut the cord, but can't put an antenna out. I live in the first floor of a condo. We're thinking of cutting the cord, but I'd like to use my HTPC to record OTA broadcasts still. Unfortunately, we can't get a decent enough signal where we are (Brooklyn) inside.
post #7 of 33
Thread Starter 
I heard they charge from $1 per day to $80 per year. But keep in mind it uses your internet bandwidth.
post #8 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by ljo000 View Post

They are essentially being paid to house and maintain individual tuners for their users. The courts have already affirmed TV watcher's rights when it comes to recording, time/place shifting etc so really the only difference here is that you are outsourcing some of these functions. It just shows the sorry state of broadcast competition that none of them came up with the idea first.

In the long term I see what this company is doing as being very bad for those of us who use OTA. Laws will be changed to stop these guys from circumventing the retransmit fee and when this happens I am afraid that my right to record OTA will be infringed on.

On top of that, this should be a free service provided by the station not a paid service provided by a third party.
post #9 of 33

Id be curious to see what kind of a person would want to pay $1 a day to watch streamed free OTA TV.

post #10 of 33
Streaming LiveTV is on the road map for the ceton MyMediaCenter app but there's no eta.
post #11 of 33
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MKANET View Post

Id be curious to see what kind of a person would want to pay $1 a day to watch streamed free OTA TV.

Let's say you want to watch some games, e.g. Olympics, soccer, etc, but you hate the idea of watching "live recording". $1 for the privilege is not expensive at all. The same applies to your favorite season finales.

$80 a year to be able to stream live TV to your cellphone isn't expensive either. Although I wouldn't pay it.
post #12 of 33
I want to watch all the Steelers' games. I live in PA, so you would think this is a done deal. Unfortunately, my area is too close to Baltimore so the NFL says I HAVE to get every local Ravens game...and EVERY Eagles game (local and away). This means I miss every other Steelers game. I would love to be able to watch the a local channel from near Pittsburgh and see the games I normally would miss. Unfortunately, Aereo only does NYC.
post #13 of 33
Oh my god, the situation just went ludicrous. You can totally see Fox acting like a child stamping her foot and throwing a tantrum.

https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20130408/12161722625/hilarious-ridiculous-networks-threaten-to-pull-channels-off-air-if-aereo-dish-win-lawsuits.shtml
post #14 of 33
Yep that is hilarious
post #15 of 33
There has been a similar case in Australia that went the opposite way (www.itnews.com.au/News/298540,federal-court-overturns-optus-tv-now-decision.aspx)
post #16 of 33
CBS is threatening to shut off Dish Network from carrying their affiliates due to the Hopper. If they actually did something that drastic I could see them stop OTA broadcasting and moving to a cable channel type model.
post #17 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by pittsoccer33 View Post

CBS is threatening to shut off Dish Network from carrying their affiliates due to the Hopper. If they actually did something that drastic I could see them stop OTA broadcasting and moving to a cable channel type model.

Fox has done the same. I say let them, the FCC would love to have the spectrum back. Read this though for a good summary of why it probably won't happen, at least not for a while: http://www.theverge.com/2013/4/9/4205338/nuclear-option-would-fox-really-leave-the-free-airwaves-to-undercut-aereo
post #18 of 33
I suppose that after the big networks stomp on start up Aereo in court with their paid for judges or change the law with their paid for representatives they will start this service themselves for a fat fee all the while touting that it was their idea. This is not what the founding fathers had in mind in the copyright provisions of the constitution.
post #19 of 33
NBC Nightly News just had a segment about this tonight stating that NBCUniversal and a few others are filing lawsuits and that FOX and Univision are considering going to cable pay service and discontinuing OTA Free service......

Toys
post #20 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Toys7505 View Post

NBC Nightly News just had a segment about this tonight stating that NBCUniversal and a few others are filing lawsuits and that FOX and Univision are considering going to cable pay service and discontinuing OTA Free service......

Toys

Univision going to cable only will be the stupidest thing they could ever do. How about saying goodbye to half their audience.
post #21 of 33
So people that cannot afford CableTV, Satellite or other are just screwed now?
post #22 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by cybrsage View Post

I want to watch all the Steelers' games. I live in PA, so you would think this is a done deal. Unfortunately, my area is too close to Baltimore so the NFL says I HAVE to get every local Ravens game...and EVERY Eagles game (local and away). This means I miss every other Steelers game. I would love to be able to watch the a local channel from near Pittsburgh and see the games I normally would miss. Unfortunately, Aereo only does NYC.

Find a friend with a slingbox here in Pittsburgh...
post #23 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post

I suppose that after the big networks stomp on start up Aereo in court with their paid for judges or change the law with their paid for representatives they will start this service themselves for a fat fee all the while touting that it was their idea. This is not what the founding fathers had in mind in the copyright provisions of the constitution.

Their business model is under attack. They make money when you watch ads. If people aren't watching ads advertisers won't pay networks to show them. If they don't have the money coming in how do you propose they pay to create programming? And why shouldn't they be able to charge whatever rate the market sees fit to view the programs they create? On the big four advertisers pay for that. On HBO the viewer pays for it.

I'm fairly certain Gouverneur Morris and James Madison didn't think businesses should give products away at a loss. And any educational value of television broadcasts (supposedly the reason the government has an interest) went out the door around the time they quit airing news and started with infotainment. Either that or Wife Swap.
post #24 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by myoda View Post

Find a friend with a slingbox here in Pittsburgh...

All my friends near Pittsburgh actually live in Windber - which is on the mountain near Johnstown. Suffice it to say they are all antenna people and some of them still refuse to shift to dtmf phone (they use pulse dialing)...
post #25 of 33
Reading up on the link provided by Gewbert, I read this:
Quote:
The precedent that Aereo was citing was Cartoon network vs CSC.

The appeals court found that a) the automated copying of content at user request did not constitute direct infringement, b) Time shifting, or replaying content to the original audience, did not constitute public performance, and c) the copying of streaming content for the purposes of buffering did not itself constitute unlawful copying.

The fact that this was already a broadcast signal available in the market that Aereo was supplying was absolutely pertinent. This is also why Aereo cannot legally retransmit a NYC broadcast signal to a consumer in another market.
http://www.theverge.com/2013/4/9/4205338/nuclear-option-would-fox-really-leave-the-free-airwaves-to-undercut-aereo

This means the product is useless for what I want it to do, since it is not legal for them to let me watch Pittsburgh TV outside of Pittsburgh. frown.gif
post #26 of 33
The business model of OTA TV Stations may be under attack but there is not an issue with copyright violation here. To use copyright law to protect profits is not what was intended either. It is supposed to be for "limited time". That little mouse and all his cohorts are responsible for this as he was about to come into the public domain and Disney paid congress to do their bidding and renewed the copyright for yet another limited time of 99 years. As I've said, this is not what was intended to happen.
Edited by Sammy2 - 4/10/13 at 8:47am
post #27 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by cybrsage View Post

Reading up on the link provided by Gewbert, I read this:
http://www.theverge.com/2013/4/9/4205338/nuclear-option-would-fox-really-leave-the-free-airwaves-to-undercut-aereo

This means the product is useless for what I want it to do, since it is not legal for them to let me watch Pittsburgh TV outside of Pittsburgh. frown.gif

Services like this and Zediva seem too crazy for anyone to try launching them.

I live in Pittsburgh. Whats to stop me from renting a building, setting you up a Comcast Pittsburgh account, hooking it up to Slingbox style hardware (an H264 encoder and internet connection), and sending it to you? Slingbox doesn't seem to be under attack [yet], and if you have a PGH address that your service is connected at this seems like the next logical step.

I wouldn't be sending you MY service (with Sling says is a violation of their TOS) I would be sending you YOUR service.
post #28 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post

The business model of OTA TV Stations may be under attack but there is not an issue with copyright violation here. To use copyright law to protect profits is not what was intended either. It is supposed to be for "limited time". That little mouse and all his cohorts are responsible for this as he was about to come into the public domain and Disney paid congress to do their bidding and renewed the copyright for yet another limited time of 99 years. As I've said, this is not what was intended to happen.

This has nothing to do with when I'll be able to sell my own Mickey Mouse tshirts.

Aereo is essentially operating as an MSO. They are retransmitting these channels in a given area and charging a fee to watch them. That's what Comcast, Cox, Charter, etc all do and pay they pay for the ability to offer them. The original cable companies in the US did almost exactly what Aereo is doing - they stuck an antenna up on a hill and allowed all houses in the valley to hook onto the signal that they could not have received from their houses.

Aereo is trying (brilliantly so) to skirt fees and is not obtaining the consent that their "competitors" have to get. Its the exact definition of a disruptive technology. It's easy for me to look at it and say "hey, Aereo is just providing me my own Slingbox. Instead of the antenna and Slingbox at my house, its at theirs." But all the existing laws were not written with this kind of technology in mind.

And if they don't want to be broadcasters anymore and don't want to play by the "new rules" what the problem? NBC IS a cable empire. So is Fox and Disney. If they think that kind of business model is going to deliver the most value to their shareholders then that should be their goal.
Edited by pittsoccer33 - 4/10/13 at 9:35am
post #29 of 33
Their objections to the Hopper are similar. They're accusing Dish of modifying their broadcast signals (a no no). But you or I would look at it as saying "hey how is this any different that paying the neighbor kid to come over and run all of last night's recordings through Comskip or Video Redo to strip out the commercials? I'm just paying Dish to do it instead"
post #30 of 33
Thread Starter 
Looks like Aereo already got rid of the $1 a day pass. And according to Engadget, they even plan on getting rid of the $80 a year plan.

http://www.engadget.com/2013/05/13/aereo-live-tv-boston/#continued

Still, $8 a month with DVR feature (20 hours) is still decent, if you qualify.
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