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Utah broadcasters file suit to block Aereo

Local TV-owned Fox affiliate KSTU, Sinclair Broadcast Group-owned CBS affiliate KUTV and KMYU, serving Salt Lake City, as well as FOX Broadcasting filed suit Oct. 7 asking a district court to shut down Internet streaming service Aereo.

The lawsuit alleges Aereo is engaged in copyright infringement by retransmitting local and network content of the broadcasters without authorization. The broadcasters are asking the U.S. District Court for The District of Utah, Central Division, to grant a preliminary and permanent injunction requiring Aereo to cease its alleged infringement as well as monetary relief, including statutory and actual damages.

The broadcasters and FOX are alleging that Aereo captures TV stations’ over-the-air signals and retransmits them via the Internet to its subscribers without the permission of the local stations or copyright holders.

In a similar suit, a panel of judges in the U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals in New York ruled in April that Aereo was not violating copyright law. The full court refused to hear an appeal in July. The company has also faced legal challenges in Boston.

Media reports quote Aereo spokeswoman Virginia Lam as saying the most recent lawsuit filed in Utah amounts to “forum shopping” and that the company is hopeful that “any such efforts to commence duplicative lawsuits to try to seek a different outcome will be rejected by the courts.”