Sometimes it really doesn’t matter what side of the law you’re on if your opponent is about 100 million times more powerful and financially resourceful than you. Such is the epic lawsuit between small technological startup Aereo and every single TV broadcast network – ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, and more. And yet, so far in this David vs. Goliath battle, David is winning.
It’s only a very preliminary victory. A federal judge dismissed the plaintiffs’ assertion to have Aereo shut down immediately. Instead, the service will at least remain live during the duration of the legal battle. What Aereo does is basically take a TV satellite and makes it Internet-enabled, allowing devices to stream live TV. We’re talking about over-the-air broadcasts here, not cable or satellite channels.
There are actually multiple lawsuits in process against Aereo so the plaintiffs as I’ve been referring to them are across more than one legal filing, but essentially every major decision will be parallel across these different lawsuits. In this specific case, filed principally by Fox, Tribune Company, PBS, and Univision, the plaintiffs released a statement saying, “Today’s decision is a loss for the entire creative community. The judge has denied our request for preliminary relief – ruling that it is ok to misappropriate copyrighted material and retransmit it without compensation. While we are disappointed, we will continue to fight to protect our copyrights and expect to prevail on appeal.” Aereo remains more confident than ever that its service is perfectly legal. It is currently up and running in New York City for iPhone, iPad, and Mac computers.