Supreme Court Issues Ruling on Aereo and the Public Performance Right

On June 25, 2014, the US Supreme Court reversed a decision of the Second Circuit and held that Aereo publicly performs copyrighted television programming. The case has important implications for the public performance right under the Copyright Act and for new technologies and online services that make copyright-protected content available to the public.

The Aereo Service -

Aereo is an online service that gives its subscribers the ability to view broadcast television programs on a variety of internet-connected devices like smartphones and tablets. Aereo’s system consists of thousands of individual antennas connected to a remote server. Each subscriber is assigned an antenna, and no two users share the same antenna, even when watching the same program. Rather than transmit the feed directly to the user, Aereo creates a unique copy for each user of the desired program on its remote server. Then, depending on whether the user chooses “watch” or “record,” the user-specific copy either is transmitted directly to the user or saved for later viewing. Aereo does not pay the copyright owners of the programming for the right to make their content available to its subscribers...

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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