Supreme Court to Hear Case of Online Redistribution of Television Programming

Huge copyright impacts


The Supreme Court today agreed to weigh into a legal thicket that, at the end of the day, will shape the manner and method by which people watch broadcast television.

The justices decided to hear a controversy over a 2-year-old upstart called Aereo. Using thousands of dime-sized antennas, it retransmits over-the-air broadcast television to paying consumers, who are able to watch live television online without the consent of NBC, ABC, CBS, PBS, Fox and other broadcasters who brought a lawsuit in 2012.

Broadcasters claimed the redistribution of the material, without a license, infringes their copyrights because it amounts to Aereo briefly buffering or copying the broadcast and "facilitating" a public performance without permission.