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Old 03-04-2014, 12:05 PM   #1
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Obama sides against Aereo

I was a little disappointed to see this:

http://money.cnn.com/2014/03/04/tech...ama/index.html


Could be the beginning of the end for Aereo. While I guess it doesn't really affect me or most TiVo users, I had tried the service here in the Atlanta area. It was pretty good and promising and I had hoped some competition would be a good thing. Nothing is definite but oh well.
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Old 03-04-2014, 01:19 PM   #2
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Given that I am an OTA only user I was/am somewhat concerned that what Aereo was doing would be the beginning of the end of free OTA broadcast networks. While I don't really believe anyone should have to pay for OTA channels most of them have have become dependent on fees they charge any service rebroadcasting their channels/signals. So in affect cable and satellite users are subsidizing us OTA only users (Thanks!). If Aereo type services caused the OTA networks to go cable only I would be very unhappy. Perhaps if in the end Aereo looses the OTA Networks will cut them a good enough deal to allow them to stay in business.
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Old 03-04-2014, 02:52 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by mcf57 View Post
I was a little disappointed to see this:

http://money.cnn.com/2014/03/04/tech...ama/index.html


Could be the beginning of the end for Aereo. While I guess it doesn't really affect me or most TiVo users, I had tried the service here in the Atlanta area. It was pretty good and promising and I had hoped some competition would be a good thing. Nothing is definite but oh well.
Probably good news for Aereo. Whenever he sides with something or someone he ends up on the wrong side...
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Old 03-04-2014, 06:12 PM   #4
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Given that I am an OTA only user I was/am somewhat concerned that what Aereo was doing would be the beginning of the end of free OTA broadcast networks. While I don't really believe anyone should have to pay for OTA channels most of them have have become dependent on fees they charge any service rebroadcasting their channels/signals. So in affect cable and satellite users are subsidizing us OTA only users (Thanks!). If Aereo type services caused the OTA networks to go cable only I would be very unhappy. Perhaps if in the end Aereo looses the OTA Networks will cut them a good enough deal to allow them to stay in business.
Satan will be strapping on his ice skates before local broadcast licensees give up their TV broadcast allocations, because someone else will snap them right up and make money with them.
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Old 03-04-2014, 06:26 PM   #5
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The title is a bit misleading. The Obama administration sided against Aereo. I doubt the President himself even knows/cares about this case. He has cabinet members to deal with this second tier stuff.

And ultimately it doesn't really matter the Supreme Court is free to ignore the administration and rule however they want.
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Old 03-04-2014, 07:09 PM   #6
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The title is miss leading since it is the justice department and the copy right department that have written briefs for this case. Like some one else has commented Obama probably doesnt even know there is a court case. That's why presidents have staff members.
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Old 03-05-2014, 04:25 AM   #7
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The headline is not misleading as the Attoyrney General who runs the JusticeDept.is the hsndpicked appointee of the President and is an official who closely shares the same values as the President. The Attorney General does indeed represent the President and his views at the Justice Dept and the views of those who contributed to the President's campaign.
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Old 03-05-2014, 05:06 AM   #8
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The Aereo business was a puzzle to me. The copyright laws make it alright to copy and sell copyright protected programming over the internet without paying rights to distribute it so long as you call that business renting a tiny antenna?

I didn't get it from the start and when the lower courts refused to shut it down, I really didn't get it. I think the business will be dead and gone as soon as The Supreme Court rules on the case and I say good riddance, rights owners and proper distributors of content need protection of the law.
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Old 03-05-2014, 06:13 AM   #9
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My prediction is they are doomed. With heavyweights like the NFL and MLB now against Aereo, I have a feeling the "bury them in litigation cost" move could be in play here on some level and planned if needed. If Aereo wins here, they will then simply find another/different reason to sue them. They have all these high prices lawyers so might as well put them to good use. At some point, the cost for Aereo of trying to fight all these big companies will bury them. I saw Sony do it back in the 90s and can see it happen here. Its sad, but a reality.
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Old 03-05-2014, 06:48 AM   #10
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The title is a bit misleading. The Obama administration sided against Aereo. I doubt the President himself even knows/cares about this case. He has cabinet members to deal with this second tier stuff.

And ultimately it doesn't really matter the Supreme Court is free to ignore the administration and rule however they want.
the word "administration" doesn't really matter. Bottom line is its people appointed by Obama cause they share his views so its the same either way. If the "administration" doesn't like it, chances are REAL good its based on how Obama feels too. Same thing either way.
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Old 03-05-2014, 07:16 AM   #11
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the word "administration" doesn't really matter. Bottom line is its people appointed by Obama cause they share his views so its the same either way. If the "administration" doesn't like it, chances are REAL good its based on how Obama feels too. Same thing either way.
Its a legal opinion rendered by attorneys on points of law, I don't believe what Obama wants or likes has any relevance and I doubt if he knows anything about the case. I sure don't recall him mentioning it in any speech.
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Old 03-05-2014, 07:21 AM   #12
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The headline is not misleading as the Attoyrney General who runs the JusticeDept.is the hsndpicked appointee of the President and is an official who closely shares the same values as the President. The Attorney General does indeed represent the President and his views at the Justice Dept and the views of those who contributed to the President's campaign.
Uh, I sure hope that isn't how the Attorney General operates, I believe he does his job as an attorney bound by a code of ethics and the rule of law. I am not an attorney but I don't think this is a close case at all, Aereo is clearly in violation of copyright protection laws and the company can negotiate rights to distribute content online or be shutdown, either way I don't care, I won't use the service.
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Old 03-05-2014, 07:25 AM   #13
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The Aereo business was a puzzle to me. The copyright laws make it alright to copy and sell copyright protected programming over the internet without paying rights to distribute it so long as you call that business renting a tiny antenna?
It's not nearly that simple. They don't copy it; they just record it (like your TiVo). They don't sell it; they just distribute it to its owner (like a TiVo Stream).

I'n not sure I see any way to distinguish their business model from, say, me renting a TiVo Roamio and Stream from someone, and paying them to record OTA programming which is then streamed to me. That may violate TiVo's regulations, but I don't see it violating copyright at all.

I'm concerned that no matter which way the Court rules, there may be massive change in what is allowed.
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Old 03-05-2014, 09:27 AM   #14
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Its a legal opinion rendered by attorneys on points of law, I don't believe what Obama wants or likes has any relevance and I doubt if he knows anything about the case. I sure don't recall him mentioning it in any speech.
Agreed that it really isn't up to Obama, but rather attorneys on points of law, but I am sure there are a LOT of issues that Obama doesn't mention in any speech. He would be there ALL DAY trying to do that
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Old 03-05-2014, 09:52 AM   #15
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Debating if what Aereo is doing is legal or not is a fairly useless effort at this point. It will be determined by the Supreme Court and whatever they say is the last word on it.

The debate/speculation on what happens with either ruling (for or against Aereo), maybe of more interest.

If Aereo wins will it fundamentally change OTA broadcasts or result in other companies offering something similar? Will Aereo try and expand their offering by licensing cable channels?

If they lose will the networks/local channels provide them with low enough cost for retransmission rights to allow Aereo to stay in business? With Comcast does their ownership of NBC come into play if they refuse to license content to Aereo at a reasonable cost (whatever that is)?
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Old 03-05-2014, 12:49 PM   #16
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If they win then cable companies will follow suit and set up banks of tiny antennas so they can broadcast local channels to their subscribers without having to pay redistribution fees to the networks.

If they lose Aereo is dead. The amount they'd have to pay for redistribution fees would jack up the service costs too high for them to be a viable option for most people.
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Old 03-05-2014, 12:54 PM   #17
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The title is a bit misleading. The Obama administration sided against Aereo. I doubt the President himself even knows/cares about this case. He has cabinet members to deal with this second tier stuff.

And ultimately it doesn't really matter the Supreme Court is free to ignore the administration and rule however they want.
Well, saying that Obama is against Aereo is the best lobbying slam dunk guarantee that Aereo could hope for.

Justice Scalia is writing his Aereo-favorable majority opinion as we speak.
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Old 03-05-2014, 05:00 PM   #18
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This is extremely unfortunate, I hoped for better out of Obama on technology issues. I was rather shocked when this came out, given how clear it is that Aereo is on the up and up with the law.

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If Aereo wins will it fundamentally change OTA broadcasts or result in other companies offering something similar? Will Aereo try and expand their offering by licensing cable channels?
The networks mostly are just making an empty threat. If they really want to, they might move some of their top primetime stuff off to their cable networks, and backfill with cheap, syndicated content or re-runs, but OTA fundamentally isn't going anywhere.

I could see Aereo doing some speciality or foreign programming that's licensed, but they're not going to get the big cable channels on board.
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Old 03-05-2014, 05:20 PM   #19
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This is extremely unfortunate, I hoped for better out of Obama on technology issues. I was rather shocked when this came out, given how clear it is that Aereo is on the up and up with the law.
When it comes to big money decisions very few politicians are going to be on the side of the consumer, regardless of party affiliation. Money has a HUGE influence over politics and these corporations have a LOT of money.

That being said I don't understand how Aereo is really violating the law. For about $200 you could get an OTA antenna, a cheap ATSC decoder and a Slingbox and create essentially the same setup in your home. What's the difference between that and renting the equipment from someone else? As long as they truly have one antenna per person it's not rebroadcasting, it's renting an antenna and tuner.

I don't think the broadcasters are worried about Aereo at all. What they're worried about is the precedent it sets. If this is deemed legal then cable companies will start doing the same thing and the broadcasters will lose their lucrative rebroadcasting deals. Technology found a way around their business model and they're fighting to prevent it.
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Old 03-05-2014, 11:11 PM   #20
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Obama lowers mortgage rates!
Obama makes new credit card rules!
Obama rules make new home loans!

Yes, just like these spams you have seen all over the internet, the subject of this thread is also "baloney."
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Old 03-06-2014, 04:59 AM   #21
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It's not nearly that simple. They don't copy it; they just record it (like your TiVo). They don't sell it; they just distribute it to its owner (like a TiVo Stream).

I'n not sure I see any way to distinguish their business model from, say, me renting a TiVo Roamio and Stream from someone, and paying them to record OTA programming which is then streamed to me. That may violate TiVo's regulations, but I don't see it violating copyright at all.

I'm concerned that no matter which way the Court rules, there may be massive change in what is allowed.
It is legal for individuals with the right to receive copyright protected programming to record it and play it back at their convenience, this is the famous Betamax case. For who and when those recordings can be played back is unclear, I would assume household members, family, friends, etc. but it would be a gigantic leap to assume it can then be sold to customers and distributed over the internet. No court case has established that right as far as I know and the Supreme Court will rule that Aereo's business is copyright infringement and Aereo will either negotiate rights or be out of business, that is how my psychic abilities see the future.

I predict an 8-0 skunk in favor of the networks. I will assume the justices will quickly look past the tiny antenna rental red herring for what it is, a distraction from Aereo's real business of distributing content for a fee over the internet.
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Old 03-06-2014, 06:10 AM   #22
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It is legal for individuals with the right to receive copyright protected programming to record it and play it back at their convenience, this is the famous Betamax case. For who and when those recordings can be played back is unclear, I would assume household members, family, friends, etc. but it would be a gigantic leap to assume it can then be sold to customers and distributed over the internet. No court case has established that right as far as I know and the Supreme Court will rule that Aereo's business is copyright infringement and Aereo will either negotiate rights or be out of business, that is how my psychic abilities see the future.

I predict an 8-0 skunk in favor of the networks. I will assume the justices will quickly look past the tiny antenna rental red herring for what it is, a distraction from Aereo's real business of distributing content for a fee over the internet.
I've been trying to find a way to post my thoughts on this and you've summed it up far better than I could.
I'm stunned at the number of folks that look at this and consider it a valid business model when it's full of them leveraging loopholes to provide a service that in most cases would not be allowed.
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Old 03-06-2014, 07:01 AM   #23
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I also believe the justices will find in favor of the networks. My real fear is that depending on how the judgment is worded, it could easily make the slingbox model in your own home just as illegal.
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Old 03-06-2014, 09:17 AM   #24
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I also believe the justices will find in favor of the networks. My real fear is that depending on how the judgment is worded, it could easily make the slingbox model in your own home just as illegal.
They'll open the door to Americans paying a TV license fee like they do in the U.K.

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Old 03-06-2014, 01:54 PM   #25
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I also believe the justices will find in favor of the networks. My real fear is that depending on how the judgment is worded, it could easily make the slingbox model in your own home just as illegal.
Yes, I agree that's a worry of mine.
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Old 03-06-2014, 04:08 PM   #26
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When it comes to big money decisions very few politicians are going to be on the side of the consumer, regardless of party affiliation. Money has a HUGE influence over politics and these corporations have a LOT of money.

That being said I don't understand how Aereo is really violating the law. For about $200 you could get an OTA antenna, a cheap ATSC decoder and a Slingbox and create essentially the same setup in your home. What's the difference between that and renting the equipment from someone else? As long as they truly have one antenna per person it's not rebroadcasting, it's renting an antenna and tuner.

I don't think the broadcasters are worried about Aereo at all. What they're worried about is the precedent it sets. If this is deemed legal then cable companies will start doing the same thing and the broadcasters will lose their lucrative rebroadcasting deals. Technology found a way around their business model and they're fighting to prevent it.
Quite true. Although the Dems actually bother to pay lip service to pro-consumer things, they are fairly corrupt themselves.

Exactly. The issue of re-allocating antennas may come up though.

I guess they're thinking this in the long run, but I just don't see most cable systems having the ability to run that many of what are effectively individual OnDemand streams at once for quite some time.

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It is legal for individuals with the right to receive copyright protected programming to record it and play it back at their convenience, this is the famous Betamax case. For who and when those recordings can be played back is unclear, I would assume household members, family, friends, etc. but it would be a gigantic leap to assume it can then be sold to customers and distributed over the internet. No court case has established that right as far as I know and the Supreme Court will rule that Aereo's business is copyright infringement and Aereo will either negotiate rights or be out of business, that is how my psychic abilities see the future.

I predict an 8-0 skunk in favor of the networks. I will assume the justices will quickly look past the tiny antenna rental red herring for what it is, a distraction from Aereo's real business of distributing content for a fee over the internet.
The content is not being sold to the consumers. It's already free for them. Aereo is simply providing the antenna and the "wire" so to speak for the consumer to capture what is already there.
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Old 03-06-2014, 04:27 PM   #27
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The content is not being sold to the consumers. It's already free for them. Aereo is simply providing the antenna and the "wire" so to speak for the consumer to capture what is already there.
The funny thing is that this is what cable companies did originally. They simply provided a community antenna and the wire for consumers who could not get OTA due to distance, obstacles, or inability to have an antenna of their own. It was only later that they started having to pay for re-transmitting those OTA signals.

The new technologies are individual antennae and receivers that are under direct subscriber control and use of the internet as the "wire". I guess the question comes down to whether this is different enough to avoid the need to pay for "re-transmission" rights.
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Old 03-06-2014, 06:10 PM   #28
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I guess they're thinking this in the long run, but I just don't see most cable systems having the ability to run that many of what are effectively individual OnDemand streams at once for quite some time.
Yeah this is definitely long term. But eventually all cable companies will convert to a pure IP/VOD based system, and at that point the Aereo model will become viable if it's deemed legal. And some system, such as AT&T Uverse, could start using it immediately since they are already IP based.
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Old 03-07-2014, 07:01 AM   #29
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The content is not being sold to the consumers. It's already free for them. Aereo is simply providing the antenna and the "wire" so to speak for the consumer to capture what is already there.
Nonsense, of course it is the content that is being sold to the consumers. The Aereo plan makes receiving the content easier or in some cases possible without paying greater fees so if Aereo can obtain rights to legally distribute this copyright protected programming, maybe there is a viable business.

They can also rent antennas if they want and install those antennas on their customer's homes, another legal business, not that their customer base would be very big or profitable.

What difference does it make if the customers could have received the content for free by some other means if they wanted? The content is still protected by copyright laws and the rights owners get to decide how to distribute that content in a manner consistent with the law. I can plant an apple tree and grow apples for free but that doesn't mean I can take apples from my neighbor and deliver them to customers and call that renting an apple crate.
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Old 03-07-2014, 07:10 AM   #30
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If this business is legal, why not copy books someone could read for free at the library, deliver those books over the internet for a fee and call it library access fee? I can't even believe this has to go the Supreme Court to be shutdown, but at least there is a means to stop it.
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