Early on Wednesday, June 25th, the US Supreme Court announced their 6-3 vote against Internet start-up company Aereo in the highly anticipated ABC v. Aereo decision. This is a landmark victory for ABC, broadcasters, and consumers across the United States. ABC strongly, and correctly, felt that Aereo was in complete violation of copy right laws. Aereo provides paying consumers with the ability to view broadcasting and store network television content via cloud on a mobile device. This is done through a tiny HD Antenna, which Aereo claims as the private property of the consumer. The catch, however, is that Aereo was retransmitting these broadcastings for near to no cost. Some broadcasting companies have even claimed this as theft of protected materials. Further, it appeared that they were attempting to bypass copy-right laws, claiming that the antennas used by consumers, though publically provided by Aereo, brought content via a “private performance,” a concept that is legal under copy-right law. ABC quickly struck against Aereo feeling that they were illegally using broadcasted content without a copy-right and without so much as paying for the content. Fortunately, and favorably, the Supreme Court upheld the inscribed copy-right laws that we currently abide by, and found that Aereo’s consumers, in fact, were receiving their content via public performance, which is a clear violation of copy-right laws.
ABC and broadcasters had intentions and hopes to stop Aereo, no matter how far or long it would take. This ultimately led the case to the doors of the Supreme Court. ABC used this lawsuit to fight to protect both the established copy-right principles and the industry of broadcasting and cable retransmitting. As ABC is pleased to find, there are high chances that Aereo will cease to exist, or will at least have to drastically change their business plan and increase prices to the consumers. There’s no doubt Aereo’s Kanojia regrets stating, as The Associated Press noted, “we have no backup plan if the case were to favor ABC and broadcasters, ” which ironically, is exactly what happened.
In addition to ABC, other companies such as Fox, CBS, and Disney have rejoiced at this keeping of justice and a decision that so greatly met the intentions of the Constitution. Ultimately, ABC made a great leap in protecting and enforcing copy-right laws and Aereo will have no option but to make changes in their future.