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Official AEREO Discussion Thread - Page 3

post #61 of 474
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Burger View Post

From a strictly financial perspective, it is relevant that their business model is to give away that content for free. They are unharmed financially from Aereo expanding the exposure of their content, in fact they benefit.

 

It's debatable if they in fact benefit on many levels. Such as...

 

  • How they are affected by the third party - such as do they diminish the content or provider's value (by delivering an inferior product).
  • Do they lose revenues from other (paying) providers?
  • Do the lose viewers if the service shuts down - viewers who would be in place via other providers if they didn't exist.
  • There are many cases where it's simply not so black and white.

 

Well, I see your perspective that the local broadcasters, who produce content, ought to have some control over how that content is distributed, as a matter of principle.

 

I see this as a legal right.

post #62 of 474
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Burger View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by foxeng View Post

Please open your eyes. This is Econ 101. You build something. You make it available to the masses without charge to the masses and with no intent of charging the masses for it. I come along and take all your inventory and sell it not giving you anything from my profits.

I see your point. You think the local broadcasters have a moral right to a cut of the action.

But in bigger picture, you are ignoring the fact that the LOCAL broadcasters have a business model built around giving stuff away for free. They thrive by giving MORE stuff away for free. So the local broadcasters are in effect getting a piece of the action. It's only the networks and distributors whose content is getting cheapened.

No, the BIGGER picture is the content TV stations buy are covered under contracts of broadcast. And that contract says how that content can be used. If the content owner states in the contract can't be resold by a second party without consent, then that is illegal. That is EXACTLY what Aereo is doing. Making money off the original content owner since they nor the station have given Aereo permission to retrans that content.
post #63 of 474
I was listening to my backlog of Tech News Today podcasts and in one of them they mentioned the court cases were in fact just about getting a preliminary injunction. So Aereo hasn't really "won" anything yet, unlike all the other crappy "journalists" out there have led us to believe.

It's almost impossible to get preliminary injunctions out of a judge, especially an injunction that would completely shut down the defendant's business. The plaintiff usually has to have a position that pushes one of the judges ideological hot buttons in order to get one and this is highly unlikely to be one of those buttons. So no surprise to me that Aereo "won" this round.
post #64 of 474
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Burger View Post

I've read a number of articles about Aereo, and for the life of me, I still don't get what is going on here. Is the customer's "antenna" picking up some digital or analog signal that is on the wire, but not running on top of the TCP/IP protocols?

I guess this makes no sense, since Aereo works over wireless networks. What the heck is this "antenna" doing electrically?

There's no way to send information over Ethernet without it being packed into packets defined by the protocol and then modulated onto the physical media as defined by the protocol. Anything else is going to look like noise or interference or bad packets to the first router it hits.

So if you take Aereo at their word, they have to have at least one antenna and ATSC receiver per customer. The desired channel has to be demodulated off of it's carrier frequency and reformed into it's original mpeg transport stream by the receiver. Then as a minimum the mpeg transport stream has to be repacked into TCP/IP or UDP or whatever Ethernet protocol packets that Aereo chose to use. And finally modulated onto whatever carrier Aereo chose, most likely a laser beam in a fiber optic cable going to a central switching station. But it could be radio waves over wireless ethernet or electrical waves over wired ethernet or anything else that ethernet supports.

But since an ATSC broadcast can be as much as 19 Mb/s and a lot of Internet customers can't reliably maintain a sustained 19 Mb/s and even if they could Aereo wouldn't want to have to pay for that much bandwidth, it's highly likely that Aereo is also transcoding and recompressing the stream down to a much lower bit rate. And since mpeg4 at about 5Mb/s seems to be the de facto standard that services like Netflix have settled on, Aereo is probably transcoding the original mpeg2 stream to mpeg4 at 5Mb/s or lower rates.
post #65 of 474
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mac The Knife View Post

So if you take Aereo at their word, they have to have at least one antenna and ATSC receiver per customer.
My question was narrowly focused on the antenna, not all the protocols involved in transmission. (Sorry that I muddied water with mention of TCP/IP)
But your simple sentence here may have led me to the answer: The antenna need not be physically located near the customer. They could be tiny devices collecting OTA signals at a regional offfice that Aereo sets up, all that matters is individual antennae are assigned to individual customers.

Hah hah hah! What sneaky little bastards they are! Yep, one customer, one antenna, one receiver, one dedicated virtual recording device. Heee, heee, heee. I did read somewhere that the antennas are tiny - wouldn't be surprised if they have a thousand on a 4 square foot area. I find this funny because the intent of "antenna" in the law is a $50 or $500 device that you buy at Radio Shack and setup in your home; Aereo has made a creative end run.

As to the legality, I expect Aereo is free and clear. At the core, they are selling antenna systems to the customer to collect OTA broadcasts. And their DVR-in-the-cloud is also just a dedicated customer appliance.

Although there has been some disagreement in this thread about exactly who is harmed by Aereo, there is no doubt that somebody in the industry is taking a punch in the shorts. Well, I say the consumer has been taking all the hits up until now. So I am cheering on Aereo big time. What a breath of fresh air! The monopolies might finally fall.
Edited by Richard Burger - 4/16/13 at 9:39pm
post #66 of 474
Quote:
Originally Posted by foxeng View Post

No, the BIGGER picture is the content TV stations buy are covered under contracts of broadcast. And that contract says how that content can be used. If the content owner states in the contract can't be resold by a second party without consent, then that is illegal. That is EXACTLY what Aereo is doing. Making money off the original content owner since they nor the station have given Aereo permission to retrans that content.

There are two ways of looking at this: morally and legally. We really don't need to argue about the legality, which you and foxeng are fired-up about. The courts will handle that question for us.

The more interesting question is whether Aereo's actions are moral and fair. I am fine with what Aereo is doing, because the people being harmed have acted in greedy and pernicious ways - that would be the distributors, who often exercise near-monopoly power over particular customers. The people most benefiting are the consumers who have been getting ***** for years, and now will have some relief.

(Lets bury the disagreement over the local broadcasters, I see them as beneficiaries, you see them getting hurt )

*** POST EDITED. MODERATOR'S NOTE NOTE: THIS IS AN ALL-AGES BOARD. OFFENSIVE LANGUAGE IS NOT PERMITTED***
post #67 of 474
Quote:
Originally Posted by dad1153 View Post

Business/Legal Notes
Aereo Lawsuit: Networks Seek Re-Hearing After Appeals Court Setback
By Tim Kenneally, TheWrap.com - Apr. 16, 2013

After receiving a legal setback from an appeals court earlier this month, networks are taking another shot at blocking Barry Diller's Aereo service, filing petitions to re-hear arguments for an injunction against the service, which brings broadcast programming to subscribers over the web via individual antennae.

In two separate petitions filed with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit, ABC, CBS, NBC Universal, Fox Television Stations and other entities argue against the 2-1 decision, which was handed down by the same court earlier this month, which shot down the networks' efforts to block the Aereo service.

The networks argue that Aereo violates the Transmit Clause of the Copyright Act of 1976, despite the court's earlier ruling.

In earlier legal proceedings, the networks have argued that Aereo is essentially committing copyright infringement by retransmitting broadcasts.

Aereo, which is currently only available in New York City but is seeking to expand to 22 other cities, has countered that it shouldn't have to pay the networks to fees to transmit the broadcasts, since it's only providing subscribers with the same signal they'd receive by setting up antennae themselves.

The 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals sided with Aereo's interpretation on April 1, in a 2-1 decision that the networks now hope to revisit.

In the petitions, the networks likened Aereo to cable and satellite companies, which must obtain rights and pay fees to re-transmit broadcasts.

"The Majority [in the April 1 decision] concluded that Aereo’s unauthorized commercial retransmissions are lawful even though Aereo does just what Congress proscribed in the Transmit Clause and 'precisely what cable companies, satellite television
companies, and authorized Internet streaming companies do.'"

The networks also assert that the fact that Aereo uses antennae is a technicality that has no bearing on whether the company is violating the Copyright Act.

"The only distinctions between Aereo and other infringing retransmitters are the thousands of mini-antennae used by Aereo and the technologically superfluous subscriber-associated copies Aereo inserts into the retransmission path," one of the petitions reads. "Congress, however, made clear that the method, technique or system used cannot matter; all are covered by the sweeping 'any device or process' language of the Transmit Clause."

Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.

http://www.thewrap.com/tv/article/aereo-lawsuit-networks-seek-re-hearing-after-appeals-court-setback-86121
post #68 of 474
From a technical standpoint, do you know what you get when you connect 1000 tiny antennas in a grid, remembering we are dealing with RF signals? You get ONE big antenna. Each individual element is capable of picking up virtually nothing on it's own. There are no individual antennas in an RF grid/antenna.
post #69 of 474
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Burger View Post


The more interesting question is whether Aereo's actions are moral and fair. I am fine with what Aereo is doing, because the people being harmed have acted in greedy and pernicious ways - that would be the distributors, who often exercise near-monopoly power over particular customers. The people most benefiting are the consumers who have been getting ***** for years, and now will have some relief.
So, how good or bad does a business have to be for you to decide whether it's OK to use their copyrighted content without their permission? It's OK because you personally don't like their business model? It's not OK if they really like puppies?

Here is the fact: the broadcasts are copyrighted and specifically say in those copyright messages they can't be sold, retransmitted or redistributed without permission from the copyright holder. Aereo is doing all three on a product they don't the legal rights to. I'm surprised the broadcasters haven't appealed to the NFL, MLB and other sports leagues to weigh in. These networks pay them a lot of money to air their stuff and those broadcasts are the most tightly controlled.

Don't forget, much of the content is not owned by the networks, but they are tasked with showing it in a way the owners approve of. They pay for it, too. Streaming rights are often extra. Sports broadcasts are very tricky in this regard. Networks have to get permission and pay for the right to stream games.

Further, there is no assurance that the quality will meet any kind of standard, that Aereo won't potentially do other things that could negatively impact the image the networks currently strive to have. McDonald's has built a business on the taste of their fries. If they suddenly found someone reselling them without their permission (whether McDonald's gave the away or the company bought the fries), they would be within their rights to stop them. A bad batch of resold fries could ruin someone's opinion of them all and result in harm to their business.

Another example is WiFi. Many businesses offer free WiFi. However, it's for private use by customers.It's already been shown that someone doesn't have the right to park in their lot and use their WiFi all day without buying something. Further, jumping on a nearby business's connection and running your business on it would be definitely against terms of service.

In other words, property owners have the right to control what happens to their property. Just because there's no fence, doesn't mean you can camp on someone's lawn.

Finally, exposure isn't everything if it's the wrong kind of exposure. These local stations get paid to be distributed by cable and/or satellite. If people have cable or satellite mainly to get the locals, they may be encouraged to drop those services and just go with Aereo. That's harm because the station gets paid per subscriber. Ever lost sub is money out of the station's pocket. As it becomes harder to get the same amount of money they used to per ad as those dollars get split between more players, that retrans money becomes the revenue source. It pays for people to be able to put up an antenna and watch for free. Further, many of these networks also have cable channels that might lose viewers if they drop cable or satellite and just stream Aereo. This also causes potentially harm in future negotiations be lessening the value to multichannel providers. It's a huge snowball here, whether you like the color of it or not.

Now, if Aereo paid those stations the going retrans rate per sub, I'm sure many of the stations might be willing to play ball or at least consider it. The problem is Aereo may have poisoned the well against some of that. Further, stations have to evaluate how this will affect their relationships with the MSOs.
Edited by NetworkTV - 4/17/13 at 7:10am
post #70 of 474
Quote:
Originally Posted by foxeng View Post

No, the BIGGER picture is the content TV stations buy are covered under contracts of broadcast. And that contract says how that content can be used. If the content owner states in the contract can't be resold by a second party without consent, then that is illegal. That is EXACTLY what Aereo is doing. Making money off the original content owner since they nor the station have given Aereo permission to retrans that content.

Couldn't Aereo argue that they aren't charging for retransmitting any content? They are charging for a service. Suppose in the olden days, a company had set up hundreds of VCRs and it recorded programs off the air that its customers requested. Then the company delivered the videotape to the customer. That videotape is for one specific customer, not the public. That company could claim that the fee is to cover the cost of buying and maintaining the VCRs, paying staff to do the recordings and drivers that deliver the videotapes to each customer, etc?

You are allowed to watch OTA programs for free. You are allowed to record OTA programs as long as it's for private use. If you pay someone or some company to do it for you, how are they stealing the networks' content?
post #71 of 474
Quote:
Originally Posted by NetworkTV View Post

Here is the fact: the broadcasts are copyrighted and specifically say in those copyright messages they can't be sold, retransmitted or redistributed without permission from the copyright holder. Aereo is doing all three on a product they don't the legal rights to.

If the situation were as simple as you describe, then this would be a slam-dunk case. Clearly there is much more to story. You ignore half the picture, actually more like 3/4.

When over-the-air broadcasting switched from analog to digital, the unintended consequence was that half the population lost access. The signal is too weak, it barely covers the 'burbs in many cities. Within urban areas, lots of people are blocked by building configurations. I resent that I can't get a decent signal, know many people who get little to no OTA TV.

Aereo can quite legitimately be seen as delivering an antenna service. They are simply allowing people who are deprived of OTA access to pick up a signal.
Quote:
Originally Posted by NetworkTV 
Further, there is no assurance that the quality will meet any kind of standard, that Aereo won't potentially do other things that could negatively impact the image the networks currently strive to have.
You could make this same criticism of any and every antenna manufacturer. They could degrade the quality of the product due to ineptness.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NetworkTV 
If people have cable or satellite mainly to get the locals, they may be encouraged to drop those services and just go with Aereo.
Why are customers put in this position? Precisely because the OTA broadcasts are too difficult to pick up. Cable & Satellites have been given an unfair competitive advantage. The public air waves are supposed to be for all.
Quote:
Originally Posted by NetworkTV 
That's harm because the station gets paid per subscriber.
That's a fair point, but again only half the picture. Local broadcasters are hurt indirectly by people dropping cable subscriptions. But then again, they benefit from wider exposure to their advertising as the Aereo antenna service expands broadcast market.
Quote:
Originally Posted by NetworkTV 
In other words, property owners have the right to control what happens to their property.
Ya, I do recognize some value to this argument. It's just that on balance, it does not carry the day.

Entertainment distribution is not operating as a healthy free market! The property owners have locked-up the market with exclusivity agreements on content. And the end customer typically has highly limited choices.

I called Charter yesterday to explore options for reducing my cable bill. I am satisfied with price & quality on internet from Charter, but I'm spending $115 for TV service, without any premium channels. I asked salesman for my options. He came back with, "well, for $10 more, you can keep all your channels and add a phone."

This is a response from a business in a quasi-monopolistic position. I can't get OTA TV. I can't setup a satellite dish in my location. There is simply not enough market pressure to force content providers to show any flexibility and allow lower cost customization.
Quote:
Originally Posted by NetworkTV 
Now, if Aereo paid those stations the going retrans rate per sub, I'm sure many of the stations might be willing to play ball or at least consider it.
The stations will do fine. It's the networks and distributors that will have to restructure and adapt to better meet consumer needs.

Aereo will set us free! Free at last, free at last, Lord Almighty I am free at last! I'm happy to pay for my TV service - at a fair market price (in a reasonably unrigged market) for the specific services that I want.
post #72 of 474
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Burger View Post

If the situation were as simple as you describe, then this would be a slam-dunk case. Clearly there is much more to story. You ignore half the picture, actually more like 3/4.

When over-the-air broadcasting switched from analog to digital, the unintended consequence was that half the population lost access. The signal is too weak, it barely covers the 'burbs in many cities. Within urban areas, lots of people are blocked by building configurations. I resent that I can't get a decent signal, know many people who get little to no OTA TV.

Aereo can quite legitimately be seen as delivering an antenna service. They are simply allowing people who are deprived of OTA access to pick up a signal.
First, you're ignoring the many people who couldn't get a good picture before that now can get a good signal if they get any at all. My parents fall into that category. They could get a terrible, unwatchable signal via analog. That same signal is pristine since that terrible signal still sees all the ones and zeros. Not everyone was worse off. Further, your arguement is like saying someone who moves to Linux and can't easily use I-Tunes now has the right to download MP3s illegally because they no longer have access to the marketplace.

Plus, Aereo is most certainly not an antenna service. They aren't setting up antennas and running wires to hopes without line of sight. They are an IP video service, taking content off the air, transcoding it, sending it out over the internet and charging for it.

Finally, the case may be a slam dunk. So far, all the courts have ruled is that they aren't willing to halt Aereo's business until they hear the case and make a final ruling. Round 1 was simply a matter of the injunction to stop them from doing what they're going.
Quote:
You could make this same criticism of any and every antenna manufacturer. They could degrade the quality of the product due to ineptness.
Don't be silly. An antenna either works or it doesn't. It won't change the signal.
Quote:
Why are customers put in this position? Precisely because the OTA broadcasts are too difficult to pick up. Cable & Satellites have been given an unfair competitive advantage. The public air waves are supposed to be for all.
It's a myth the public airwaves are for all. Try to run your own TV station without a license. See how far you get.

The airwaves are bought and sold to those with licenses to use them.
Quote:
That's a fair point, but again only half the picture. Local broadcasters are hurt indirectly by people dropping cable subscriptions. But then again, they benefit from wider exposure to their advertising as the Aereo antenna service expands broadcast market.
Not true. When people drop cable, that lessens the value of the content that has far greater reach than an antenna. That could reduce the value of the networks as a whole. Further, these people watching via Aereo will not be counted as viewers in the ratings, which decide ad rates.
Quote:
Ya, I do recognize some value to this argument. It's just that on balance, it does not carry the day.
That's precisely the monetary case at hand. Loss of subs means loss of sub money. Further, Aereo should not be immune from carriage fees.

To say they are means that all those cable companies that use IP switching should be able to use a bunch of antennas as well to avoid compensating stations for forwarding them to the viewer on their closed system,which is exactly what Aereo's business model is trying to be.
Quote:
Entertainment distribution is not operating as a healthy free market! The property owners have locked-up the market with exclusivity agreements on content. And the end customer typically has highly limited choices.
Nor should it be. It's a business. You can buy expensive Calvin Klein jeans or you can get them down at the Goodwill store. The fact you can get them free through charity doesn't invalidate the designer jeans sales model. You choose to buy them or you don't.

Cocal-Cola gives away thousands of gallons of bottled water to charity organizations every year. That doesn't mean you can take those same bottles and resell them for profit. They're given to benefit those who require them and can't afford them. They aren't intended to create a secondary retail market.

If you don't like cable, try satellite. If you can't put up a dish, go through one of the telcos. If you can't do any of that, either subscribe to one of the licensed streaming services like Hulu (which pay for their content and could also be harmed by Aereo), or move. Your personal needs don't negate copyright law.

I get it. You don't like the business model. However, it's a business. It's their right to sell and distribute their content they way they want to. Your arguements are the same ones people use to defend music and movie piracy.
Edited by NetworkTV - 4/17/13 at 8:35am
post #73 of 474
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Burger View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by foxeng View Post

No, the BIGGER picture is the content TV stations buy are covered under contracts of broadcast. And that contract says how that content can be used. If the content owner states in the contract can't be resold by a second party without consent, then that is illegal. That is EXACTLY what Aereo is doing. Making money off the original content owner since they nor the station have given Aereo permission to retrans that content.

There are two ways of looking at this: morally and legally. We really don't need to argue about the legality, which you and foxeng are fired-up about. The courts will handle that question for us.

The more interesting question is whether Aereo's actions are moral and fair. I am fine with what Aereo is doing, because the people being harmed have acted in greedy and pernicious ways - that would be the distributors, who often exercise near-monopoly power over particular customers. The people most benefiting are the consumers who have been getting ***** for years, and now will have some relief.

(Lets bury the disagreement over the local broadcasters, I see them as beneficiaries, you see them getting hurt )

*** POST EDITED. MODERATOR'S NOTE NOTE: THIS IS AN ALL-AGES BOARD. OFFENSIVE LANGUAGE IS NOT PERMITTED***

There you go. Those greedy TV stations. They don't deserve the protection of the law because I THINK they have screwed me. Then why have laws in the first place with that kind of elementary thinking? This whole line of fantasy thought is has nothing to do with reality and does not advance the story. It is just a rant on your part. I am done with it.
post #74 of 474
Quote:
Originally Posted by foxeng View Post

There you go. Those greedy TV stations. They don't deserve the protection of the law because I THINK they have screwed me. Then why have laws in the first place with that kind of elementary thinking?

You are arguing with a straw man, have completely misrepresented my position.
I never criticized the TV stations. I did not suggest that there was any problem with existing law. I never suggested law should be enforced selectively to suit me.

The problem is the market for content distributors - charter, dish, comcast, etc. It's a question of a market becoming uncompetitive due to perfectly legal contracts. That happens sometimes.

Aereo is using a clever, legal business strategy that will unfreeze a rigged market, create a much more consumer friendly environment. Content distribution will continue to thrive,it will just be more flexible. Hurray!
post #75 of 474
Quote:
Originally Posted by NetworkTV View Post

Aereo is most certainly not an antenna service. They aren't setting up antennas and running wires to hopes without line of sight.
You are ignoring the facts that don't suit your argument. Aereo is unarguably building antennas that connect directly to a customer, one to one. The fact that the signal has been digitized is no big deal, that happens in some antenna systems. The internet path can be viewed as an implementation detail.
Quote:
Originally Posted by NetworkTV 
They are an IP video service, taking content off the air, transcoding it, sending it out over the internet and charging for it.
This is also a reasonable way of looking at it. It's a messy situation.
Quote:
Originally Posted by NetworkTV 
Finally, the case may be a slam dunk. So far, all the courts have ruled is that they aren't willing to halt Aereo's business until they hear the case and make a final ruling. Round 1 was simply a matter of the injunction to stop them from doing what they're going.
You're right, the legal fate of Aereo remains in the balance. You need to refrain from using the word "certain", it's a murky picture.
It will create a much healthier situation for both consumers and business if Aereo prevails.
Quote:
Originally Posted by NetworkTV 
Don't be silly. An antenna either works or it doesn't. It won't change the signal.
not so.
Quote:
Originally Posted by NetworkTV 
It's a myth the public airwaves are for all. Try to run your own TV station without a license. See how far you get. The airwaves are bought and sold to those with licenses to use them.
You misunderstand that word "public." Those licenses are sold in the public interest.
Quote:
Originally Posted by NetworkTV 
If you don't like cable, try satellite. If you can't put up a dish, go through one of the telcos.....
Fine in principle, but in practice, the market is not working for consumers.
Quote:
Originally Posted by NetworkTV 
I get it. You don't like the business model. However, it's a business. It's their right to sell and distribute their content they way they want to.
It's you who are objecting to a business model - the model employed by Aereo.
Quote:
Originally Posted by NetworkTV 
Your arguements are the same ones people use to defend music and movie piracy.
No. OTA broadcasts are supposed to be free. No question of piracy here.
post #76 of 474
To me, the lynchpin to this whole legal argument stands in the location of the conversion. As long as the signal is being converted and retransmitted BEFORE it gets to the end user, then it's in violation of copyright law. Once a signal reaches a customer's house, it's free for him/her to do with as he/she sees fit so long as it's for his/her own personal use. Granted, that's not absolute and I have issues with that I'll save for discussions elsewhere. HOWEVER, were Aereo to rent boxes that existed within a home, everything they're offering would be considered legal. I can DVR a program and then access it from a laptop computer anywhere in the world and watch it. Because the conversion was done in my house. Where I store it or where I view it is up to me. Aereo is not the same thing.

One other thing that's bugging me is this insistence that you are the customer. As I've said repeatedly YOU ARE NOT THE TELEVISION STATION'S CUSTOMER. You're the commodity the station sells to advertisers. An offsite service that resells content and allows users to skip commercials IS NOT advantageous to the television station. Additional eyes do no good if those eyes are skipping some or all of the ads. NOW... we all do that with our home DVRs. Broadcasters lost that battle, though they won back some ground with the flags (that they don't use, but could). Nothing they can do about that. But it's certainly in their best intereststo halt proliferation of this kind of service if they can. WILL they? Dunno. But you can't fault them for wanting to stop this.
post #77 of 474
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Burger View Post

OTA broadcasts are supposed to be free.

Then Aereo shouldn't be charging to deliver them.

Sorry, you set yourself up for that one. biggrin.gif
post #78 of 474
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrDon View Post

Then Aereo shouldn't be charging to deliver them.
Traditional antenna manufacturers are also getting a cut of action in delivery of OTA broadcasts.
The only reason that Aereo's internet-connected antennas have a market is that the traditional antennas are not working adequately.

Neither side of this debate owns the "that's just business" card. If the internet becomes the platform for content , plenty of profit opportunities will open up, to be filled by new and existing players. Let a thousand subscription Roku channels bloom.

What the Aereo-bashers are defending is the established business order, where a small handful of content aggregators are sitting pretty, forcing bloated packages on consumers.

I favor models that best serve consumers. The old style cable companies may suffer, but that too "is just business"
post #79 of 474
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Burger View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by DrDon View Post

Then Aereo shouldn't be charging to deliver them.
Traditional antenna manufacturers are also getting a cut of action in delivery of OTA broadcasts.

That is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard. If you mean because they sell antennas that can receive the OTA signals, then you might as well lump in the TV manufactures as well. And while you are at it, lump in the A/V manufacturers as well since you have to be able to hear those signals. But then let's not forget the furniture manufacturers since you have to have a place to sit to watch those OTA signals. I can go on.

Absolutely ridiculous.
post #80 of 474
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Burger View Post

Traditional antenna manufacturers are also getting a cut of action in delivery of OTA broadcasts.
The only reason that Aereo's internet-connected antennas have a market is that the traditional antennas are not working adequately.
First, traditional antennas work far better than half the "ultra-slim" "disguised as a shingle" "flat as a pancake" antennas. That 60's technology is perfect for HD.

Second, there's no obligation to buy an antenna. I know plenty of people who get their HD with coat hangers and coild of wire they had hanging around their houses.

Third, the antenna manufacturers don't deliver channels any more than TV manufacturers do. It would be like saying a keyboard is providing your posts here on the internet. Those devices only give you the means to access what is already available from the content providers.

Aereo creates content that the content owners did not authorize. The conversion to IP content is what does that, not the collection or passing along of the signal. That's why even shared apartment antennas are legal: they don't do anything that a personal antenna doesn't do - and the viewers is still only access their channels individually. Each one connected can feel free to change channels or record them within their homes, then send that signal to PCs and tablets via apps or hardware like a Sling Box for their personal use.

Aereo does all this before it reaches the viewer, which results in a new performance. That's copyright violation.

Honestly, if the networks lose this case, they need better lawyers. One of the ways they can lose is if the focus entirely on money. You don't win a case saying someone is hurting your bottom line. If that were the case, small stores could sue and win against Walmart. You win by proving someone is using your copyrighted material without permission for profit. If the lawyers fail to make that case, they should go back to law school.

The model should be Pandora: they stream music to each individual listener and pay a rights fee for those streams whether it's paid for by premium plans or by the ads listeners see in the app. What a service can't do is use a bunch of satellite radio receivers to collect XM, then offer it as a streaming service. While the record companies own the music, the broadcast from XM itself (the order of the music, the announcements, etc.) is copyrighted by XM. The fact that XM charges for that signal makes no difference. A copyrighted broadcast is a copyrighted broadcast.
Edited by NetworkTV - 4/17/13 at 1:27pm
post #81 of 474
I think it'd be hilarious if bunch of people bought a single Aereo account and then shared it by transmitting to just one person at a time in a big long daisy chain so that each retransmission was a "private" performance. wink.gif
post #82 of 474
Quote:
Originally Posted by NetworkTV 
Aereo creates content that the content owners did not authorize. The conversion to IP content is what does that .... Aereo does all this before it reaches the viewer, which results in a new performance. That's copyright violation.

I'm unqualified to argue the legal merits of the case, other than to observe that there are strong arguments on both sides and the outcome is uncertain. From my perspective as a consumer, Aereo is nothing more than an antenna rental that finally can hook me into broadcast TV.

You mention you have friends collecting high def TV off of a coat hanger antenna. All I can say is you must have friends in high places.

Aereo controversy aside, perhaps we can agree on one point: the conversion to digital broadcasting has been a disaster. Far too many people have lost the ability to watch television over the air.
post #83 of 474
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mac The Knife View Post

I think it'd be hilarious if bunch of people bought a single Aereo account and then shared it by transmitting to just one person at a time in a big long daisy chain so that each retransmission was a "private" performance. wink.gif

On a related note: Aereo (such as it is defined now) is bound to be a passing phase. Someway, somehow, technology or consumers will clip their wings. Aereo will have to change and adapt just like everybody else.

I like Aereo's initiative because it is delivering a swift kick into the soft, pink underbelly of an under-performing, ossified structure.

I expect local broadcasters will have their own web channels very soon. (The largest local channel in my city already is on Roku.) The local broadcasters will adapt and survive, charging their own subscription fees, or living within the means of advertising revenue.

It's the content aggragators who are facing some rude times. But they typically also have a stake in internet services, demand for which is booming.

Lets save the crocodile tears, disruption is part of high tech reality.
post #84 of 474
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Burger View Post

Aereo controversy aside, perhaps we can agree on one point: the conversion to digital broadcasting has been a disaster.

 

Not at all. I appreciate the fact you are guaranteed to receive a perfect signal (assuming you receive any). If it was still in the analog days I wouldn't be relying on OTA (only) rather I'd still be tied to pay TV. Been wonderful for me...

post #85 of 474
ya, it's great for people who get a decent signal. I'm looking at bigger picture. A lot of people have been forced into expensive digital services they wouldn't have otherwise bought, or perhaps they get limited/irreguilar OTA channels. I know plenty of people in those situations.
post #86 of 474
If I rent a space next to the local transmission towers and park an HTPC+antenna in that space, have I broken the law by streaming content for my use over the Internet? Obviously the answer is no.

If I pay Aereo a fee to provide this service to me, what has changed?
post #87 of 474
Quote:
Originally Posted by c.kingsley View Post

If I pay Aereo a fee to provide this service to me, what has changed?

 

This has been covered several dozen times if you read the thread... really. smile.gif

post #88 of 474
I've read the thread, really. smile.gif

I have simplified the argument because there are too many tangential thoughts and arguments in this thread that don't really relate to what Aereo is actually providing. I won't be using Aereo's services, but one has to admire their creativity.
post #89 of 474
Quote:
Originally Posted by c.kingsley View Post

I have simplified the argument because there are too many tangential thoughts and arguments in this thread that don't really relate to what Aereo is actually providing.

 

That's because some think it is simple and it takes several dozen posts to show them it isn't... even then some still believe it is (simple as they would like it to be). Of which I'm guessing most if not all aren't going to repeat all over again... I think it has reached its repeat point... additional posts are duplicated posts. However good luck...


Edited by Charles R - 4/17/13 at 6:25pm
post #90 of 474
BTW, the proof that digital broadcasting has been a flop is that there is a large market for Aereo's services.

The OTA signals are evidently woefully inadequate, that's the problem. What is the solution? I'm not so familiar with satellite pricing, but the cable companies are not offering basic plans anymore.

Aereo is my solution. Maybe there is another approach that serves the needs of people who can't afford $100/month for TV.
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