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Monday, May 6, 2013

Streaming-TV service Aereo, coming to NH, counter-sues CBS

A few weeks before streaming-TV service Aereo arrives in New Hampshire (my earlier story here), it has upped th elegal battle with broadcasters by counter-suing CBS, one of several companies suing it for copyright infringement.A s The Verge explains in this story:

Aereo is a web TV service that enables users to view over-the-air broadcasts via the web. Two groups of television networks — groups that include CBS, Fox, and NBC — filed copyright claims last year and argued that Aereo is an illegal service because it distributes their programming without compensating them. After losing two decisions in New York this year, a CBS spokesman said on Twitter two weeks ago that CBS plans to file another lawsuit against Aereo in Boston, an area Aereo recently announced it would move into. Aereo says that the broadcasters are just shopping for a sympathic court.

Aereo uses a huge host of tiny antennas, one per paying customer, to gather up the signals, and then lets them control the antenna to watch over-the-air broadcasts. - because of that, courts have ruled that it's not liable for paying retransmission fees. I'm not entirely sure I understand the court's point of view, to be honest, but it's certainly interesting.