Aereo Banned in Five More States - The UpStream

Aereo Banned in Five More States

posted Saturday Feb 22, 2014 by Scott Ertz

Aereo Banned in Five More States

Even with the impending Supreme Court case only 2 months away, the U.S. District Court in Utah has decreed that Aereo's Internet rebroadcasts are not legal within its jurisdiction. This ruling will shut down operations, at least temporarily, in Colorado and Utah and prevent further markets to open in Oklahoma, New Mexico and Wyoming. These bans are in addition to New York, which has already decreed the practice illegal.

Judge Dale Kimball said, in regards to the ruling,

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.

This leaves Aereo with injunctions against them in 3 of their major markets: New York, Salt Lake City and Denver. Their bigger problem, however, is the dangerous precedent this sets heading into the Supreme Court case. The prosecution will be able to argue that judges in multiple parts of the country have ruled independently that this business model violates copyright law.

Now, this argument has not gone well in previous cases. For example, many states had agreed not to recognize same-sex marriages from other states where it is legal. The Supreme Court found that unified decisions do not indicate accuracy, so there is a good chance that this ruling will have no bearing on the outcome in April.

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