Aereo sticks by its claim to be legal


AereoBarry Diller’s Aereo still plans to launch March 14th in the New York DMA, despite lawsuits by broadcasters accusing it of copyright violations. The start-up insisted on its corporate Internet blog that its streaming video service is legal.

“ Today, two groups of broadcasters filed two separate federal lawsuits against Aereo in the Southern District of New York claiming that Aereo will infringe their copyrights by making available technology which enables consumers to access broadcast television via a remote antenna and DVR. Aereo does not believe that the broadcasters position has any merit and it very much looks forward to a full and fair airing of the issues,” the blog post said.

“Consumers are legally entitled to access broadcast television via an antenna and they are entitled to record television content for their personal use. Innovations in technology over time, from digital signals to Digital Video Recorders (‘DVRs’), have made access to television easier and better for consumers. Aereo provides technology that enables consumers to use their cloud DVR and their remote antenna to record and watch the broadcast television signal to which they are entitled anywhere they are, whether on a phone, a tablet, a television or a laptop,” Aereo continued. “Aereo very much looks forward to its upcoming product launch as well as a prompt resolution of these cases.”

RBR-TVBR observation: We heard the same “we are legal” claims by ivi TV, which was shut down by court order in February 2011, and FilmOn, whose local broadcast streaming had been shut down by court order in November 2010. FilmOn revised its business plan and still streams licensed content – plus it came up with a legal way to connect to local broadcast content with an app utilizing a digital TV antenna.