Justice Samuel Alito will not participate in it, according to The Supreme Court, which generally does not disclose why justices are excused. A ruling is expected by the end of this June.
Aereo subscribers can stream live broadcasts of TV channels on mobile devices using miniature antennas. Launched in March 2012 in the New York area, Aereo has since expanded to about 10 cities and plans to enter several more.
The four broadcasters claim that Aereo violates their copyrights on the television programs. The service, they say, represents a threat to their ability to control subscription fees and generate advertising.
The National Football League, Major League Baseball and various media companies, including Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. have all filed court papers in support of the broadcasters.
Aereo’s business model is “built on stealing the creative content of others,” CBS said in a statement last week.
In its defense, Aereo counters that its service does nothing more than provide users what they could obtain with a personal television antenna. “We believe that consumers have a right to use an antenna to access over-the-air television and to make personal recordings of those broadcasts,” Aereo chief executive officer Chet Kanojia said in a statement.
The lawsuit is being watched closely with the utmost seriousness. Cablevision Systems Corporation says that the legal theory advanced by broadcasters to the high court would spell trouble for cloud-based content services and threaten Cablevision’s ability to offer DVR recording to its customers.
“Cablevision remains confident that while the Aereo service violates copyright, the Supreme Court will find persuasive grounds for invalidating Aereo without relying on the broadcasters’ overreaching – and wrong – copyright arguments that challenge the legal underpinning of all cloud-based services,” the company said in a statement.
2014, Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM.