Originally Posted by Richard Burger
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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