Deborah D. McAdams /
02.19.2014 05:27 PM
Injunction Against Aereo Granted in Utah
Midwestern states covered
SALT LAKE CITY—Judge Dale Kimball of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Utah ruled in favor of broadcasters granting a preliminary injunction against Aereo.

Plaintiffs in the case were Community Television of Utah, LLC; KUTV-TV, FOX Broadcasting Co., and Nexstar Broadcasting.

“The plain language of the 1976 Copyright Act support plaintiffs’ position,” Judge Kimball wrote. “….Throughout the debates on the 1976 Copyright Act, the proponents of no copyright liability argued that broadcast stations offer their programming free over-the-air to the viewing public and cable systems do nothing more than provide technology that allows consumers to do what they can do on their own. Congress resolved the issue by concluding that commercial broadcast retransmission services must obtain copyright licenses and compensate copyright holders. … Congress reached that conclusion because it determined that a commercial enterprise should not be allowed to build a business off the exploitation of copyrighted programming without compensating the owners of that programming.

“Based on the plain language of the 1976 Copyright Act and the clear intent of Congress, this court concludes that Aereo is engaging in copyright infringement of plaintiffs’ programs. Despite its attempt to design a device or process outside the scope of the 1976 Copyright Act, Aereo’s device or process transmits plaintiffs’ copyrighted programs to the public. Accordingly, the court concludes that plaintiffs have met their burden of establishing a likelihood of success on the merits.”

Upon entering the preliminary injunction, Judge Kimball stayed the case pending the outcome of the Supreme Court case involving Aereo and broadcasters. Oral arguments on that case will be held April 22. The injunction applies to the 10th Circuit, which covers the:

District of Colorado
District of Kansas
District of New Mexico
Eastern District of Oklahoma
Northern District of Oklahoma
Western District of Oklahoma
District of Utah
District of Wyoming

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Posted by: cuthbert twillie
Thu, 02-20-2014 12:37 AM Report Comment
Broadcasters have a problem: on the one hand, quite logically, they don't want anyone profiting from the content they transmit, and in many cases, ultimately produce. On the other, they provide their programming over the air for free, and any of us (and all of us) may view this material by merely buying a television set and an antenna. We may also, as per the Sony Betamax case, record such programming for our personal use at a later time. The courts determined that such a use does not materially impact the commercial potential of the content provided over the air. Then Aereo comes up with a technology for individual persons to view broadcast material on their smartphones and other devices by "renting" individual antennae. The questions now revolve around whether the words "transmission" "copy" and "performance" are the same in one of the worst-written statutes in the US Code. Does Aereo's alleged disingenuity matter in this instance? If they create an array of devices to get around the law, is that litigable? Does it matter if they snicker privately?
Posted by: Anonymous
Wed, 02-19-2014 06:13 PM Report Comment
Posted by: Anonymous
Wed, 02-19-2014 09:58 PM Report Comment
Screw the Broadcasters. They fought for must carry, then fought for compensation on what cable-ops were forced to carry. As network viewership shrinks eventually they will force consumers to pay directly to subsidize their trash.
Posted by: Anonymous
Thu, 02-20-2014 10:20 AM Report Comment
Aereo has been great. I live in an area that gets poor/no reception in Utah Valley. Aereo provides a terrific service that allows me to access my local channels.
Posted by: Anonymous
Thu, 02-20-2014 10:22 AM Report Comment
So why not charge the antenna maker or antenna seller retransmission fees? And if it is because you purchased the antenna once and there is no ongoing service fee could aereo do the same and sell it to you for a one time fee and you just replace the system monthly or yearly.

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