Lawyers Weigh In On Supreme Court's Aereo Ruling
Jun.25.2014 — Appellate, IP, and Media & Entertainment Law360
The U.S. Supreme Court on June 25 ruled that online television streaming service Aereo Inc. violates copyright law by retransmitting over-the-air programming without authorization. John Stewart, IP partner in the firm's Washington, D.C., office and co-head of the firm's member of the firm's global TLD and Domain Name Practice, tells Law360 why the decision in American Broadcasting Companies Inc. v. Aereo Inc. is significant. "America's unique system of free broadcasting provides unparalleled programming service. The Copyright Act carefully balanced the interests of creators, distributors and viewers to sustain this service. The court's decision was plainly driven by the transparency of Aereo's attempts to evade Congress's balance. Even the dissent agrees it 'ought not to be allowed.' The court's opinion reinforces the balance, without impinging on new methods of program delivery developed in cooperation with content owners. The court's analysis of the Transmit Clause and users' prior rights in stored content may affect the remand on Aereo's delayed-transmission services, notwithstanding prior court of appeals decisions."