CEA Voices Supports for Aereo

The Consumer Electronics Association has filed an Amicus Brief in support of Aereo regarding the case of WNET, et al. v. Aereo, Incorporated in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit.

In announcing the filing, Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of CEA, said, “CEA is joining an amicus brief in the Aereo case as the case will hinge on basic principles from the 1984 Supreme Court Sony ‘Betamax’ case, the Magna Carta decision of our industry defining full recording of broadcast television as a fair use and allowing innovation in technology.”

Shapiro noted that Aereo case was similar to the “Betamax” case, in that it involves a challenge to “innovative technology allowing people to conveniently access free, over-the-air broadcasting.”

“In Sony, it was time shifting broadcasting by a VCR; in Aereo, it is accessing free broadcasting through a computer,” said Shapiro. “In both cases, the technology expands the audience, is consistent with broadcaster-borrowed use of public spectrum for free, over-the-air broadcasting and is being challenged as it is disruptive, new and not allowing consumer control by old industries. Our legal system can and must favor innovation over the status quo. Our American exceptionalism and economic growth rely on innovation and we must fight legacy industries seeking to maintain their old ways of doing business.”

I described Aereo's technology earlier this year in my article Aereo Miniature Antenna Allows Viewers to Enjoy Local TV via the Internet.

Doug Lung is one of America's foremost authorities on broadcast RF technology. He has been with NBC since 1985 and is currently vice president of broadcast technology for NBC/Telemundo stations.