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Old 06-25-2014, 10:22 AM   #1
ohmark
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Supremes rule against Aereo; 6-3

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/26/bu...=46679617&_r=0
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Old 06-25-2014, 10:23 AM   #2
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Oh no......
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Old 06-25-2014, 10:32 AM   #3
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yea, too bad to see this. Looks like Comcast and other big networks have once again triumphed over the little guy. unfortunate & I tend to think this spells the end of Aereo. I briefly had it in the Atlanta area and liked it. Was waiting to see what happened here to maybe consider using it as an alternative to cable, but looks like that won't happen at this point.
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Old 06-25-2014, 10:38 AM   #4
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Arrow

Next up…the unfortunate approval of the Comcast/TW merger
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Old 06-25-2014, 10:39 AM   #5
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This is just a win for piracy. The same people who use Aereo (cord cutters) are not going to run out and sign up for cable. They will either pirate the content or they just won't watch at all. I'm glad the networks are patting themselves on the back for a job well done. Fools.
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Old 06-25-2014, 11:48 AM   #6
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The Court found that there is hardly any difference between a CATV provider and Aereo:

1. Aereo just doesn't provide the equipment for its customers, it's a service. Therefore they are transmitting (a.k.a. "performing").
2. They are retransmitting copyrighted material to the public, albeit in a unique way.

What's worse, the dissenting opinion isn't any better. It would make Aereo itself legal (like a copy machine) but anybody who uses it is violating copyright law since they can only copy copyrighted material (unlike a copy machine). I believe all it would take is a search warrant to reveal all of Aereo's subscribers and what they recorded (a copy machine leaves no record), and then they could be sued individually by the content owners. People would cancel Aereo in droves and it would go out of business.

The decision is intentionally narrow enough to avoid tackling other problems. The storage of the recorded shows (whether at home or in the cloud) was specifically not addressed, so Tivo is safe for now. And the "public" was defined as a substantial number of people, more than a family, so technologies like Slingbox are OK for now.
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Old 06-25-2014, 07:36 PM   #7
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What's worse, the dissenting opinion isn't any better. It would make Aereo itself legal (like a copy machine) but anybody who uses it is violating copyright law since they can only copy copyrighted material (unlike a copy machine). I believe all it would take is a search warrant to reveal all of Aereo's subscribers and what they recorded (a copy machine leaves no record), and then they could be sued individually by the content owners. People would cancel Aereo in droves and it would go out of business.
Copying of content broadcast using public airwaves is completely legal, that's why all broadcast channels are required to be flagged as "copy freely" even on cable systems that protect everything else. You're just not allowed to do a public performance or resell the content. So as long as you were only using the content for private, personal, viewing there would be nothing for the content owners to sue you over.

What's weird about this whole case is that what they're doing is absolutely no different then what a user can do right now with a TiVo and a Stream. With a Roamio Basic connected to an antenna and a TiVo Stream you could record anything you wanted and then watch it, or download it, remotely whenever you wanted. The only difference is that with Aereo the antenna, DVR and transcoder are all located at company offices instead of in your home.
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Old 06-25-2014, 08:08 PM   #8
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What's worse, the dissenting opinion isn't any better. It would make Aereo itself legal (like a copy machine) but anybody who uses it is violating copyright law since they can only copy copyrighted material (unlike a copy machine). I believe all it would take is a search warrant to reveal all of Aereo's subscribers and what they recorded (a copy machine leaves no record), and then they could be sued individually by the content owners. People would cancel Aereo in droves and it would go out of business.
Respectfully, I don't think you really understood the dissent.

Scalia's dissent says that for a copyright infringement to take place in this case, Aereo must be actively engaging in putting on a "public performance" of copyrighted material, but because the end-user is the one actively selecting the content, Aereo can't be the volitional actor conducting a public "performance". And since the end-user is viewing the content it private, that "performance" is not "public". So, whatever Aereo is doing is "public", but not a "performance"; and what Aereo's customers are doing might be a "performance", but it's certainly not "public". So since no single actor is conducting a "public performance" as required by the copyright statute, nobody is breaking any copyright laws.

He further distinguishes what Aereo is doing from video-on-demand providers like Netflix by saying that what Netflix does is an active "performance" because Netflix selects what content will be made available to their customers at a given time, but Aereo just passively allows customers to select whatever content is being passively received by their antennas at any given time and place.
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Old 06-25-2014, 08:32 PM   #9
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What's weird about this whole case is that what they're doing is absolutely no different then what a user can do right now with a TiVo and a Stream. With a Roamio Basic connected to an antenna and a TiVo Stream you could record anything you wanted and then watch it, or download it, remotely whenever you wanted. The only difference is that with Aereo the antenna, DVR and transcoder are all located at company offices instead of in your home.
This is exactly what I do and I pay Tivo for the service that allows me to do this. The only difference is the location of the antenna. If I moved the antenna to the property next door and paid the owner it would be the exact same thing as Aereo and it would be legal? SCOTUS made a bad decision.

Here is the statement to subscribers from Aereo.


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STATEMENT FROM AEREO CEO AND FOUNDER CHET KANOJIA ON UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT DECISION

Court decision denies consumers the ability to use a cloud-based antenna to access free over-the-air television, further eliminating choice and competition in the television marketplace

New York, New York (June 25, 2014) - The following statement can be attributed to Aereo CEO and Founder, Chet Kanojia:

"Today's decision by the United States Supreme Court is a massive setback for the American consumer. We've said all along that we worked diligently to create a technology that complies with the law, but today's decision clearly states that how the technology works does not matter. This sends a chilling message to the technology industry. It is troubling that the Court states in its decision that, 'to the extent commercial actors or other interested entities may be concerned with the relationship between the development and use of such technologies and the Copyright Act, they are of course free to seek action from Congress.' (Majority, page 17) That begs the question: Are we moving towards a permission-based system for technology innovation?"

"Consumer access to free-to-air broadcast television is an essential part of our country's fabric. Using an antenna to access free-to-air broadcast television is still meaningful for more than 60 million Americans across the United States. And when new technology enables consumers to use a smarter, easier to use antenna, consumers and the marketplace win. Free-to-air broadcast television should not be available only to those who can afford to pay for the cable or satellite bundle."

"Justice Scalia's dissent gets it right. He calls out the majority's opinion as 'built on the shakiest of foundations.' (Dissent, page 7) Justice Scalia goes on to say that 'The Court vows that its ruling will not affect cloud-storage providers and cable television systems, see ante, at 16-17, but it cannot deliver on that promise given the imprecision of its results-driven rule.' (Dissent, page 11)"

"We are disappointed in the outcome, but our work is not done. We will continue to fight for our consumers and fight to create innovative technologies that have a meaningful and positive impact on our world."

Yours truly,
Chet Kanojia
Chet Kanojia

Founder & CEO

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Old 06-25-2014, 08:53 PM   #10
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Here I posit that a whole new can of worms may have just been opened:

http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb...d.php?t=518669
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Old 06-26-2014, 11:41 AM   #11
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Respectfully, I don't think you really understood the dissent.

Scalia's dissent says that for a copyright infringement to take place in this case, Aereo must be actively engaging in putting on a "public performance" of copyrighted material, but because the end-user is the one actively selecting the content, Aereo can't be the volitional actor conducting a public "performance". And since the end-user is viewing the content it private, that "performance" is not "public". So, whatever Aereo is doing is "public", but not a "performance"; and what Aereo's customers are doing might be a "performance", but it's certainly not "public". So since no single actor is conducting a "public performance" as required by the copyright statute, nobody is breaking any copyright laws.

He further distinguishes what Aereo is doing from video-on-demand providers like Netflix by saying that what Netflix does is an active "performance" because Netflix selects what content will be made available to their customers at a given time, but Aereo just passively allows customers to select whatever content is being passively received by their antennas at any given time and place.
I reread the dissent again. All the Supreme Court did was determine if Aereo was directly liable for performance infringement, not secondarily liable. It also didn't determine if Aereo was primarily or secondarily liable for reproduction infringement. The dissent just said Aereo was not directly liable for performance infringement. It also admits that it might be a loophole, and what Aereo is doing should be considered illegal somehow, it's just a difference of opinion as to exactly how. As Groskter and Napster will tell you, if people primarily use your service to make illegal copies, you can can be held secondarily liable. The Court did not address that. It also did not address if people were violating the law by using the Aereo service. Which is why end customers would get sued.
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Old 06-26-2014, 03:02 PM   #12
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I reread the dissent again. All the Supreme Court did was determine if Aereo was directly liable for performance infringement, not secondarily liable. It also didn't determine if Aereo was primarily or secondarily liable for reproduction infringement. The dissent just said Aereo was not directly liable for performance infringement. It also admits that it might be a loophole, and what Aereo is doing should be considered illegal somehow, it's just a difference of opinion as to exactly how. As Groskter and Napster will tell you, if people primarily use your service to make illegal copies, you can can be held secondarily liable. The Court did not address that. It also did not address if people were violating the law by using the Aereo service. Which is why end customers would get sued.
Yes, since the majority opinion found them directly liable, they never got to making a determination about secondary liability, so the dissent did not bother to address that question either. The dissent just states they should not be held directly liable for the reasons I stated earlier.
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Old 06-26-2014, 05:43 PM   #13
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The Court found that there is hardly any difference between a CATV provider and Aereo:

1. Aereo just doesn't provide the equipment for its customers, it's a service. Therefore they are transmitting (a.k.a. "performing").
2. They are retransmitting copyrighted material to the public, albeit in a unique way.
Yeah, it sucks that they don't understand (or chose to ignore and serve their corporate overlords) the basic and obvious difference between a massive QAM plant and an individual stream kept separate from others on Aereo's servers.

The law is clear, and Aereo's service complied 100% with the law, yet SCOTUS chose to ignore the law and legislate from the bench with some whacky interpretation of what Congress meant to serve their corporate overlords, not what they actually wrote.

It also sucks that Aereo is gone now. Even though it has little to do with TiVo, and I think it was a kind of stupid service, since all the good content is on cable anyways, the fact that it was there was a good thing for the market.

It also sucks that the networks are so incredibly bone-headed. Not only do they look like huge bullies here, but suing Aereo is counter-productive to their goal of having more viewers, and thus making more money, yet they are too stupid to grasp this basic concept.
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Old 06-26-2014, 05:56 PM   #14
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Networks have turned a corner where they are now more concerned about the money they make from redistribution, secondary sales, etc... then what they get from advertisers. And perhaps that's a wise decision on their part. With the proliferation of DVRs and OTT services that offer commercial free versions of their shows we are likely approaching a point where advertising dollars will no longer be their biggest source of revenue. The business is changing and they're trying to make sure they can still make their billions in profits when it gets to a point where no one watches commercials any more.
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Old 06-26-2014, 06:39 PM   #15
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Yeah, it sucks that they don't understand (or chose to ignore and serve their corporate overlords) the basic and obvious difference between a massive QAM plant and an individual stream kept separate from others on Aereo's servers...
This difference was not the point of law in the case. It was about copyrights and what did or did not constitute infringement.

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...The law is clear, and Aereo's service complied 100% with the law, yet SCOTUS chose to ignore the law and legislate from the bench with some whacky interpretation of what Congress meant to serve their corporate overlords, not what they actually wrote...
The law is most certainly clear...you can't do ANYTHING with a copyrighted broadcast. Period. The courts, over that past 30 or so years, have slowly eroded that clarity of the law by carving out exceptions. These exceptions were grouped under the banner of "fair use." What this case really revolved around was whether or not what Aereo was doing should be included as yet another exception.

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...It also sucks that Aereo is gone now. Even though it has little to do with TiVo, and I think it was a kind of stupid service, since all the good content is on cable anyways, the fact that it was there was a good thing for the market.

It also sucks that the networks are so incredibly bone-headed. Not only do they look like huge bullies here, but suing Aereo is counter-productive to their goal of having more viewers, and thus making more money, yet they are too stupid to grasp this basic concept.
Aereo was a dumb idea that was never going to be profitable. The broadcasters did not care one whit about Aereo - they were worried that Comcast, DirecTV, Dish, TWC, Cablevision, etc. would do the same thing.

They are not being boneheaded. As Dan points out above, the proliferation of DVRs and commercial skipping has steadily eroded the revenue they make from advertisers. Retransmission fees (basically a subscription fee for broadcast TV) replaces that revenue. The "contract" between the public and the broadcasters was that the broadcasters get use of the airwaves (they pay for that privledge) and they deliver news and entertainment to the public for free. In return for it being free, the broadcasters had the right to sell advertising embedded in the programs. The public broke that contract when they started buying and using tools that allowed them to skip the commercials. The broadcasters have responded the only way they could.
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Old 06-26-2014, 10:23 PM   #16
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Networks have turned a corner where they are now more concerned about the money they make from redistribution, secondary sales, etc... then what they get from advertisers. And perhaps that's a wise decision on their part. With the proliferation of DVRs and OTT services that offer commercial free versions of their shows we are likely approaching a point where advertising dollars will no longer be their biggest source of revenue. The business is changing and they're trying to make sure they can still make their billions in profits when it gets to a point where no one watches commercials any more.
The problem is, if that's their business model, then OTA doesn't fit into that mold. That is, in part, why they have moved a lot of shows off to cable, but if they really don't want to do OTA, maybe they need to get out, turn into cable networks and sell off the OTA licenses to local stations who will do their own programming or syndicated programming...

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This difference was not the point of law in the case. It was about copyrights and what did or did not constitute infringement.
Aereo's service is 100% legal to the letter of the law. The SCOTUS legislated from the bench. They should have left that to Congress.

Quote:
The law is most certainly clear...you can't do ANYTHING with a copyrighted broadcast. Period. The courts, over that past 30 or so years, have slowly eroded that clarity of the law by carving out exceptions. These exceptions were grouped under the banner of "fair use." What this case really revolved around was whether or not what Aereo was doing should be included as yet another exception.
Anything like record it to a hard drive and play it back? If you don't allow that, the TiVo Roamio is illegal.

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Aereo was a dumb idea that was never going to be profitable. The broadcasters did not care one whit about Aereo - they were worried that Comcast, DirecTV, Dish, TWC, Cablevision, etc. would do the same thing.
Which is ridiculous because it would be absurdly costly if it's even possible at all. It's more practical to roll a truck to everyone's house and set up an OTA antenna and issue new boxes with OTA tuners than it is to set up some Aereo-like kludge that would require insane amounts of bandwidth.

Quote:
They are not being boneheaded. As Dan points out above, the proliferation of DVRs and commercial skipping has steadily eroded the revenue they make from advertisers. Retransmission fees (basically a subscription fee for broadcast TV) replaces that revenue. The "contract" between the public and the broadcasters was that the broadcasters get use of the airwaves (they pay for that privledge) and they deliver news and entertainment to the public for free. In return for it being free, the broadcasters had the right to sell advertising embedded in the programs. The public broke that contract when they started buying and using tools that allowed them to skip the commercials. The broadcasters have responded the only way they could.
They absolutely are being boneheaded. They are confused old dinosaurs who just lash out at anything they view as a threat.

If Congress had any backbone, they would give the cable/IPTV/satellite cos the right to re-distribute OTA signals for free as long as they don't modify them other than for re-encoding. The concept of retrans fees for something that should be free is ABSURD.

The public never broke that contract. Not only do a lot of people still watch live TV, but DVRs are the consumer's right to have, and consumers have had the technology to time-shift and commercial skip since the 80's in one form or another. Sure, the DVR made it more convenient in 1999, but it has been possible for a long, long time.
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Old 06-26-2014, 11:04 PM   #17
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If Congress had any backbone, they would give the cable/IPTV/satellite cos the right to re-distribute OTA signals for free as long as they don't modify them other than for re-encoding. The concept of retrans fees for something that should be free is ABSURD.
I absolutely agree, as long as the people who are doing the retransmitting are not allowed to profit in any way from the work and expense the networks performed to create and distribute the material. As long as they give it out to anybody who wants it at no charge.
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Old 06-27-2014, 04:58 AM   #18
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I reread the dissent again. All the Supreme Court did was determine if Aereo was directly liable for performance infringement, not secondarily liable. It also didn't determine if Aereo was primarily or secondarily liable for reproduction infringement. The dissent just said Aereo was not directly liable for performance infringement. It also admits that it might be a loophole, and what Aereo is doing should be considered illegal somehow, it's just a difference of opinion as to exactly how. As Groskter and Napster will tell you, if people primarily use your service to make illegal copies, you can can be held secondarily liable. The Court did not address that. It also did not address if people were violating the law by using the Aereo service. Which is why end customers would get sued.
Don't you just love it when the court delivers a clear, concise, exact ruling on the law?


(too bad this wasn't one of those times)
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Old 06-27-2014, 05:13 AM   #19
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This difference was not the point of law in the case. It was about copyrights and what did or did not constitute infringement.



The law is most certainly clear...you can't do ANYTHING with a copyrighted broadcast. Period. The courts, over that past 30 or so years, have slowly eroded that clarity of the law by carving out exceptions. These exceptions were grouped under the banner of "fair use." What this case really revolved around was whether or not what Aereo was doing should be included as yet another exception.



Aereo was a dumb idea that was never going to be profitable. The broadcasters did not care one whit about Aereo - they were worried that Comcast, DirecTV, Dish, TWC, Cablevision, etc. would do the same thing.

They are not being boneheaded. As Dan points out above, the proliferation of DVRs and commercial skipping has steadily eroded the revenue they make from advertisers. Retransmission fees (basically a subscription fee for broadcast TV) replaces that revenue. The "contract" between the public and the broadcasters was that the broadcasters get use of the airwaves (they pay for that privledge) and they deliver news and entertainment to the public for free. In return for it being free, the broadcasters had the right to sell advertising embedded in the programs. The public broke that contract when they started buying and using tools that allowed them to skip the commercials. The broadcasters have responded the only way they could.
So back in the '50s, anyone who got up and went to the bathroom when the commercial came on should have been sent to Gitmo?

How about somebody who bought a copy of Life magazine and turned past an ad before reading it (since publications usually got the bulk of their income from ad sales and not subscription and newsstand sales)?

Oh, while broadcasters paid some FCC fees and such, it was never near the value of the license, or they'd never have had to maintain a public file showing all the stuff they did to prove that they were operating in the "public interest".

And some licensees, like what eventually turned into PBS affiliates, didn't sell ad time, so that "contract" was far from universal.

There's another way broadcasters could have responded--the way makers of buggies and buggy whips did when automobiles came along, recognize that conditions have changed and either adapt or die.

If they don't want that broadcast license to use the airwaves that belong to the public anymore, I'm sure someone else does.

Free market capitalism ain't always pretty.
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Old 06-27-2014, 01:43 PM   #20
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One again, just because the result is the same does not mean that any and all ways of getting there are equally legal.

There is a HUGE difference in the eyes of the court between someone walking out of the room when a commercial comes on, and some one selling a device that allows a person to literally skip over commercials as if they were not there. It took the courts (lower courts in this case...no one ever challenged the lower court rulings) to say that DVRs were covered by the same "fair use" doctrine applied to VCRs. As recently as last year Dish Network was taken to court for the commercial skipping technology built into their Hoppers...it did the same thing you can do with your TiVo, just without a button press. Cablevision was also taken to court recently over the idea of cloud based DVRs. Again, the courts said that "fair use" extended to cloud DVRs. But until they ruled, under copyright law alone, cloud DVRs are unlawful.

Just because the service Aereo provided acheived the same result as someone erecting their own antenna and feeding the signal into a local DVR does not make the two equal before the law. For one thing, the Aereo solution involved MANY additional data processing steps between the antenna and the screen. For another, they didn't sell hardware, they sold a service. Since what they were doing was not absolutely identical to any existing fair use based exception, it required the opinion of the courts to either extend such an exemption or not. Lower courts ruled both ways, so it landed in the Supreme Court and they rendered a decision. Some will think it a good decision, and others a bad one.

But could everyone please stop saying that Aereo "complied with the letter of the law." They did not. They complied with a particular view of the permission granted by the broadcasters (namely that the transmission is licensed "for private home viewing and the material may not be republished, rebroadcast or redistributed in whole or part with out the express written permission" of the station). The case turned upon whether or not that license, or any existing "fair use" exemptions to the license, applied to Aereo's business. The SCOTUS decided that they did not, and also declined to extend a new exemption.
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Old 06-27-2014, 05:31 PM   #21
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I absolutely agree, as long as the people who are doing the retransmitting are not allowed to profit in any way from the work and expense the networks performed to create and distribute the material. As long as they give it out to anybody who wants it at no charge.
That's an interesting point, although then who pays for the cable plant? Maybe a lower fee for basic cable that is set up just as plant maintenance ($8/mo like Aereo?) and mandated Clear QAM would make more sense. That still wouldn't address services like FIOS or U-Verse, since they have additional equipment though...

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Originally Posted by Diana Collins View Post
One again, just because the result is the same does not mean that any and all ways of getting there are equally legal.

There is a HUGE difference in the eyes of the court between someone walking out of the room when a commercial comes on, and some one selling a device that allows a person to literally skip over commercials as if they were not there. It took the courts (lower courts in this case...no one ever challenged the lower court rulings) to say that DVRs were covered by the same "fair use" doctrine applied to VCRs. As recently as last year Dish Network was taken to court for the commercial skipping technology built into their Hoppers...it did the same thing you can do with your TiVo, just without a button press. Cablevision was also taken to court recently over the idea of cloud based DVRs. Again, the courts said that "fair use" extended to cloud DVRs. But until they ruled, under copyright law alone, cloud DVRs are unlawful.
Well it had to go to court, because someone challenged it. I can see a legitimate challenge to built-in commercial skipping technology, since that's quite a bit different from 30-second skip that you have to mash through (although probably everyone on this forum can mash through commercials in a matter of a few seconds with 30-second and 7-second back...). However, the concept of a DVR somehow being different from a VCR is just stupid. Some entity just challenged it, even though it's a ridiculous challenge.

For cloud DVRs, it gets really squirrely now because of Aereo. If SCOTUS had done the right thing and rulted Aereo legal, then it would all make sense. However, now we have the situation where Cablevision rolling out DCX3400's versus cloud DVR is the same thing in the eyes of the law, and yet a TiVo Roamio with an antenna is legal, while Aereo is not, which fundamentally makes absolutely no sense.

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Just because the service Aereo provided acheived the same result as someone erecting their own antenna and feeding the signal into a local DVR does not make the two equal before the law. For one thing, the Aereo solution involved MANY additional data processing steps between the antenna and the screen. For another, they didn't sell hardware, they sold a service. Since what they were doing was not absolutely identical to any existing fair use based exception, it required the opinion of the courts to either extend such an exemption or not. Lower courts ruled both ways, so it landed in the Supreme Court and they rendered a decision. Some will think it a good decision, and others a bad one.
The data processing part is irrelevant. Simple.TV and Tablo can do transcoding and other processing work as part of their recording. Cablevision is selling a service with Cloud DVR, and it is viewed legally the same way as buying a Roamio Pro with Lifetime and sticking a CableCard in it.

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But could everyone please stop saying that Aereo "complied with the letter of the law." They did not. They complied with a particular view of the permission granted by the broadcasters (namely that the transmission is licensed "for private home viewing and the material may not be republished, rebroadcast or redistributed in whole or part with out the express written permission" of the station). The case turned upon whether or not that license, or any existing "fair use" exemptions to the license, applied to Aereo's business. The SCOTUS decided that they did not, and also declined to extend a new exemption.
They absolutely did 100% comply with the letter of the law. The letter of the law wasn't what the original intent of the law was, but this should have required an act of Congress to change, not a decision by SCOTUS. Of course, in that aspect, Aereo was toast one way or another, as all of the corrupt Congress critters probably would have passed legislation to outlaw it if SCOTUS had ruled the correct way in regards to the legality of Aereo under current law.
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Old 06-27-2014, 10:03 PM   #22
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They absolutely did 100% comply with the letter of the law. The letter of the law wasn't what the original intent of the law was, but this should have required an act of Congress to change, not a decision by SCOTUS. Of course, in that aspect, Aereo was toast one way or another, as all of the corrupt Congress critters probably would have passed legislation to outlaw it if SCOTUS had ruled the correct way in regards to the legality of Aereo under current law.
You should at least say in your option as you are not the great arbitrator of all things that are absolutely did 100% comply with the letter of the law . We all have options on this SC decision, some for, some against, but we have to respect the SC or our country would go down the tubes. 2+2 will be 4 in all cases but the law is never that easy to predict some of the time.
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Old 06-27-2014, 10:28 PM   #23
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You should at least say in your option as you are not the great arbitrator of all things that are absolutely did 100% comply with the letter of the law . We all have options on this SC decision, some for, some against, but we have to respect the SC or our country would go down the tubes. 2+2 will be 4 in all cases but the law is never that easy to predict some of the time.
No. Based on the letter of the law, not my opinion, Aereo 100% complied with the law. SCOTUS decided to legislate from the bench based on what they thought Congress' intent was.

However, it does get messy, as some places where SCOTUS has been accused of legislating from the bench, but aren't as clear have had much better outcomes like the enormously positive outcome of Roe v. Wade. However, that case is not at all a clear case of legislating from the bench like the Aereo case is. And it's a heck of a lot more important than watching TV a certain way...
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Old 06-27-2014, 11:32 PM   #24
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The problem is, if that's their business model, then OTA doesn't fit into that mold. That is, in part, why they have moved a lot of shows off to cable, but if they really don't want to do OTA, maybe they need to get out, turn into cable networks and sell off the OTA licenses to local stations who will do their own programming or syndicated programming...
Oh they're going to milk that cow until it runs dry, then they'll ditch OTA. We're witnessing the beginning of the end of quality ad supported TV. In another decade or so the only thing left on broadcast will be syndication and reality TV.
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Old 06-28-2014, 10:34 AM   #25
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No. Based on the letter of the law, not my opinion, Aereo 100% complied with the law...
You are simply wrong.

There is no law with which they could be in 100% compliance. If you think there is, please quote it.

The broadcasters own the rights to their broadcasts, and they include the disclaimer I noted above where they grant a very limited and specific use case under which they offer their content for your viewing. ANY other use, including but not limited to, retransmission (which Aereo was doing), recording (which Aereo was sometimes doing), editing or altering in any way are all PROHIBITED. Period. To do ANYTHING except feed the signal directly from an antenna through a piece of wire and deliver that original and unaltered signal to a tuner on a TV set requires either the permission of the copyright holder, or a legal opinion from the court that the copyright does not, if fact, prohibit the activity.

VCRs and DVRs only exist because of court challenges that resulted in specific, narrow, exemptions being granted by the court that made their use legal. This is the legal reality. Whether that fits with your view of reasonable or not is up to you and is your opinion. You have every right to your opinion, but I'm sorry, your opinion does not become a fact just because you believe it strongly and declare it to be a fact.
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Old 06-28-2014, 11:34 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by Diana Collins View Post
You are simply wrong.

There is no law with which they could be in 100% compliance. If you think there is, please quote it.

The broadcasters own the rights to their broadcasts, and they include the disclaimer I noted above where they grant a very limited and specific use case under which they offer their content for your viewing. ANY other use, including but not limited to, retransmission (which Aereo was doing), recording (which Aereo was sometimes doing), editing or altering in any way are all PROHIBITED. Period. To do ANYTHING except feed the signal directly from an antenna through a piece of wire and deliver that original and unaltered signal to a tuner on a TV set requires either the permission of the copyright holder, or a legal opinion from the court that the copyright does not, if fact, prohibit the activity.

VCRs and DVRs only exist because of court challenges that resulted in specific, narrow, exemptions being granted by the court that made their use legal. This is the legal reality. Whether that fits with your view of reasonable or not is up to you and is your opinion. You have every right to your opinion, but I'm sorry, your opinion does not become a fact just because you believe it strongly and declare it to be a fact.
Thank you; as Brigg is one tough person with turning his opinions into absolute legal facts.
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Old 06-28-2014, 12:01 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by Diana Collins View Post
One again, just because the result is the same does not mean that any and all ways of getting there are equally legal.

There is a HUGE difference in the eyes of the court between someone walking out of the room when a commercial comes on, and some one selling a device that allows a person to literally skip over commercials as if they were not there. It took the courts (lower courts in this case...no one ever challenged the lower court rulings) to say that DVRs were covered by the same "fair use" doctrine applied to VCRs. As recently as last year Dish Network was taken to court for the commercial skipping technology built into their Hoppers...it did the same thing you can do with your TiVo, just without a button press. Cablevision was also taken to court recently over the idea of cloud based DVRs. Again, the courts said that "fair use" extended to cloud DVRs. But until they ruled, under copyright law alone, cloud DVRs are unlawful.

Just because the service Aereo provided acheived the same result as someone erecting their own antenna and feeding the signal into a local DVR does not make the two equal before the law. For one thing, the Aereo solution involved MANY additional data processing steps between the antenna and the screen. For another, they didn't sell hardware, they sold a service. Since what they were doing was not absolutely identical to any existing fair use based exception, it required the opinion of the courts to either extend such an exemption or not. Lower courts ruled both ways, so it landed in the Supreme Court and they rendered a decision. Some will think it a good decision, and others a bad one.

But could everyone please stop saying that Aereo "complied with the letter of the law." They did not. They complied with a particular view of the permission granted by the broadcasters (namely that the transmission is licensed "for private home viewing and the material may not be republished, rebroadcast or redistributed in whole or part with out the express written permission" of the station). The case turned upon whether or not that license, or any existing "fair use" exemptions to the license, applied to Aereo's business. The SCOTUS decided that they did not, and also declined to extend a new exemption.

There is no legal or moral obligation to watch the commercials.

There is no legal or moral obligation to watch the commercials.

There is no legal or moral obligation to watch the commercials.


And I say that as someone who was paid to create and perform commercials and in many cases enjoyed doing so.


There is no legal or moral obligation to watch the commercials.
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Old 06-28-2014, 12:56 PM   #28
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There is no legal or moral obligation to watch the commercials...
No, and no one is saying there is. The issue of commercial skipping is not in question in the Aereo case. Retransmission was. In fact, one way of looking at the Aereo case is that the Court needed to clarify exactly what constituted retransmission. The Court decided that what Aereo was doing was, indeed, retransmission. The technology used to do the retransmission was not at issue.

While armchair attorneys may state (sometimes as fact) their opinion that the location of the antenna and tuner and the fact that the viewers are paying someone (Aereo) to maintain a centralized receive facility and then use internet based sessions to retransmit the content from the tuner output to their TV, phone, tablet or PC made this somehow not constitute a retransmission, the Court did not agree. They saw no difference between what Aereo was doing and what Dish Network tried to do when they first started delivering local broadcast affiliates via satellite. In both cases, the court ruled that this is retransmission, the details of how the data gets from antenna to viewer notwithstanding, and therefore requires the permission of the copyright holder.
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Old 06-28-2014, 12:58 PM   #29
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There is no legal or moral obligation to watch the commercials.

There is no legal or moral obligation to watch the commercials.

There is no legal or moral obligation to watch the commercials.


And I say that as someone who was paid to create and perform commercials and in many cases enjoyed doing so.


There is no legal or moral obligation to watch the commercials.
Who ever said there was any legal or moral obligation to watch the commercials.
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Old 06-28-2014, 10:17 PM   #30
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Oh they're going to milk that cow until it runs dry, then they'll ditch OTA. We're witnessing the beginning of the end of quality ad supported TV. In another decade or so the only thing left on broadcast will be syndication and reality TV.
True, a lot of content has already moved. I guess we'll see even more of it move over. There will always be a market for OTA TV, but it may just end up being that plus some re-runs of older stuff...

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Originally Posted by Diana Collins View Post
You are simply wrong.

There is no law with which they could be in 100% compliance. If you think there is, please quote it.

The broadcasters own the rights to their broadcasts, and they include the disclaimer I noted above where they grant a very limited and specific use case under which they offer their content for your viewing. ANY other use, including but not limited to, retransmission (which Aereo was doing), recording (which Aereo was sometimes doing), editing or altering in any way are all PROHIBITED. Period. To do ANYTHING except feed the signal directly from an antenna through a piece of wire and deliver that original and unaltered signal to a tuner on a TV set requires either the permission of the copyright holder, or a legal opinion from the court that the copyright does not, if fact, prohibit the activity.

VCRs and DVRs only exist because of court challenges that resulted in specific, narrow, exemptions being granted by the court that made their use legal. This is the legal reality. Whether that fits with your view of reasonable or not is up to you and is your opinion. You have every right to your opinion, but I'm sorry, your opinion does not become a fact just because you believe it strongly and declare it to be a fact.
You are flat-out wrong. Aereo was NOT re-transmitting, and that's the key to the reason why they were, in fact, 100% in compliance with the letter of the law. Re-transmission requires ingesting the signal into a system, and then splitting it to multiple subscribers in a way that's more than just a community antenna for a building. That could be IP-multicast (U-Verse) or physical QAM signals (cable and FIOS), but Aereo did not do that. Completely separate streams for each user is NOT retransmission, and anyone who cannot make that differentiation fundamentally doesn't understand how these systems work.

Aereo was NOT altering the signal like cable companies who have retransmission agreements do with ad injections and the like. Yes, they were re-encoding it, but that is NOT modification, and other devices that are local like Tablo and Simple.tv do similar re-encoding.
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