CEA files Amicus Brief supporting Aereo


CEA / Consumer Electronics AssociationThe Consumer Electronics Association is urging the U.S. Court of Appeals in the Aereo case not to limit consumer choice. The following statement is attributable to Gary Shapiro, CEA president and CEO, regarding WNET, et al. v. Aereo, Incorporated in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit:

“CEA is joining an amicus brief in the Aereo case as the case will hinge on basic principles from the 1984 Supreme Court Sony Betamax case, the Magna Carta decision of our industry defining full recording of broadcast television as a fair use and allowing innovation in technology. The Aereo case, like the Sony Betamax case, is a challenge to innovative technology allowing people to conveniently access free, over-the-air broadcasting. In Sony, it was time shifting broadcasting by a VCR; in Aereo, it is accessing free broadcasting  through a computer.  In both cases, the technology expands the audience, is consistent with broadcaster-borrowed use of public spectrum for free, over-the-air broadcasting and is being challenged as it is disruptive, new and not allowing consumer control by old industries.

“Our legal system can and must favor innovation over the status quo. Our American exceptionalism and economic growth rely on innovation and we must fight legacy industries seeking to maintain their old ways of doing business.”

RBR-TVBR observation: We understand CEA’s point of view here, but Aereo is not free and is violating copyright by streaming these signals without permission. If Aereo was free, we’d all be in agreement. No cable MSO or satellite MVPD can retransmit these signals without permission and a deal in place (often a retrans. deal). Why should Aereo be above the law here? However you slice it—little antennas in Newark or not—Aereo is charging a fee to retransmit signals illegally. Make a deal with the broadcasters like everyone else!


  1. Aereo is profiting from someone else’s intellectual property. End of story. Either they get some sort of licensing or re-transmission agreements in place or they are in violation of copyright and are guilty of theft of service. However, innovative they may be, they are still begging the question.

Comments are closed.