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US sides with networks against Aereo in Supreme Court fight

The US government's representative to the Supreme Court filed a brief Monday arguing that Aereo, the service streaming broadcast TV over the Web, is violating copyright law -- but that doesn't mean all cloud-storage services should be put under the same scrutiny.

In an amicus brief, which is essentially an official memo to the Supreme Court justices recommending a decision, Deputy Solicitor General Edwin S. Kneedler classified Aereo's Internet transmissions of broadcast TV as a public performance -- the kind you have to pay a copyright holder to do.

Aereo is set up to assign an individual, … Read more

Utah district court is first to temporarily shut down Aereo

A US district court has granted the first preliminary injunction against Aereo out of the patchwork of lawsuits against the company, handing broadcasters their first clear win ahead of a Supreme Court fight.

A decision by Judge Dale A. Kimball of the District Court of Utah on Wednesday granted a preliminary injunction sought by broadcasters. He also denied Aereo's motion to transfer the case but granted its motion to stay proceedings until the Supreme Court rules on the case later this year. Oral arguments are slated for April 22.

Such preliminary injunctions sought by broadcasters have been denied in … Read more

Aereo's Supreme Court battle may change how you watch TV

A tiny startup you've probably never heard of is heading to the US Supreme Court, and it could change how the entire country watches TV.

The top court in the country on Friday agreed to hear the case pitting television broadcasters against Aereo, an online subscription service with arrays of miniature antennas that grab over-the-air programming, stream it online to paying members, and store it for them in a remote DVR.

The big media companies, riled by lost revenue, say that Aereo is guilty of infringing their copyrights. But this is more than an arcane dispute about broadcast technology. … Read more

Supreme Court agrees to hear Aereo case

The US Supreme Court has agreed to hear broadcasters' case against Aereo, the streamer of over-the-air television programming.

The terse order published on the Supreme Court's Web site simply said that the court granted a writ of certiori in the case, which means at least four justices agreed that the case should be heard, and that Justice Samuel Alito didn't take part in the decision.

Aereo last month welcomed the prospect of a US Supreme Court case to weigh in on the legality of its service.

Aereo CEO Chet Kanojia said in a statement Friday that Aereo has &… Read more

Aereo to broadcasters: Supreme Court? Bring it on

Aereo on Thursday said it will not oppose broadcast television companies' petition for the US Supreme Court to rule on the legality of the online service that streams over-the-air programming.

"While the law is clear and the Second Circuit Court of Appeals and two different federal courts have ruled in favor of Aereo, broadcasters appear determined to keep litigating the same issues against Aereo in every jurisdiction that we enter," Chief Executive Chet Kanojia said in a statement. "We want this resolved on the merits rather than through a wasteful war of attrition."

Television broadcasters in … Read more

DirecTV, Time Warner consider Aereo-like service, report says

TV providers DirecTV, Time Warner Cable, and Charter Communications are thinking about capturing free broadcast signals and streaming TV shows over the Internet to get around paying networks, Bloomberg reported Friday.

The new approach would mimic Aereo, an online TV provider at the center of a huge legal battle with the nation's top broadcast networks (including CBS, CNET's parent company). Aereo uses tiny antennas to allow consumers to stream live and local broadcasts over the Internet and store shows in the cloud.

Aereo has been fairly successful in the courtroom so far. If it wins in the end, … Read more

Dating site ad ban: Women shouldn't smear women with sandwiches

I am all for freedom of association.

Conventional wisdoms about relationships so often turn out to be unwise, so if older men wish to date younger women or vice versa, I wish them every fortune.

In Australia, however, certain apparatchiks seem averse to older women being portrayed as having more foxy and more moxie than their younger counterparts.

The nation's Advertising Standards Board has banned an ad for a dating site called CougarLife.com.

As its name rather implies, this is a site where younger men pursue older women. At least, I think it's that way around.

In … Read more

Broadcasters petition Supreme Court in Aereo fight

Television broadcasters Friday petitioned the US Supreme Court to get involved in their fight against Aereo, the online service that streams their over-the-air programming to its paying members.

Aereo, which is backed by IAC Chairman Barry Diller, uses tiny individual antennas to let consumers watch live, local broadcasts on some Internet-connected devices and store shows in a cloud-based DVR. Television giants including Disney's ABC, CBS (the parent of CNET), Fox, and Comcast's NBCUniversal sued Aereo, alleging that the service violates their copyrights and that Aereo must pay them.

In the petition Friday, the broadcasters asked the court to … Read more

Aereo wins battle against Boston TV station seeking injunction

Another day, another district, another broadcaster fails to halt Aereo's operations.

In US District Court in the District of Massachusetts, Judge Nathaniel Gorton has denied a motion by Hearst and its Boston broadcast TV station, WCVB, for a preliminary injunction against Aereo.

"Hearst has not demonstrated a sufficient likelihood of success on the merits nor the requisite irreparable harm," Gorton said in an ruling dated Tuesday.

Hearst was the latest owner of a TV station to sue Aereo, the startup that delivers over-the-air TV programming to Internet-connected devices. Like others, WCVB filed a suit to stop Aereo … Read more

AT&T wants to get into the wireless broadcast video biz

AT&T wants to get into the wireless show business.

The company is working on technology that would enable it to broadcast video directly to its customers via its cellular network, CEO Randall Stephenson said during an investor conference on Tuesday. He said the service could come in the next three years.

If the service sounds familiar, that's because Qualcomm attempted to do the same thing with its ill-fated MediaFlo service. Qualcomm used a thin layer of spectrum to create a broadcast video service with multiple live channels that could be picked up with compatible phones. The broadcasters … Read more