Friday, May 17, 2013

Digital TV Streamer Asks Court to Dismiss Broadcast Networks Copyright Suit

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In a 31-page motion for summary judgment, digital tv streaming service Aereo has asked United States District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge Alison Nathan to dismiss copyright infringement claims brought by commercial public broadcasters. 

In American Broadcasting Cos. et al v. Aereo (Case No. 1:12-cv-01540), Aereo, which is financially backed by media mogul Barry Diller (see "TUOL" post 8/14/12), argues the March 2012, copyright infringement suit brought by commercial broadcasters CBS, ABC, NBC and Fox should be dismissed following the networks' failure to persuade the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit to overturn Judge Nathan's earlier ruling not to issue a permanent injunction against Aereo for allegedly violating the broadcasters' right to public performance of its programming by not securing a license from the networks.

Aereo, which digitally streams broadcasters' programming over the Internet one-on-one to subscribers' computers and Web-enabled devices, contends its transmission to individuals' miniature antennae is nonpublic and in any case, protected by the fair use defense to copyright infringement, as reported by BloombergBusinessWeek( and the Hollywood Reporter's legal blog THR, Esq. The networks counter that Aereo capturing their over-the-air signals and transmitting its programming constitutes a public performance that infringes on their copyrights.

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