Supreme Court Rules against Aereo

by San Antonio Attorney

Aereo, the Live-TV-on-the-Web startup, has lost its US Supreme Court case. It is now confronted with the dilemma of whether to continue its business.

The company’s CEO Chet Kanojia has said that they would look into paying some type of retransmission fee to TV stations to keep streaming over-the-air programs. However, it is difficult to figure out how that could be fiscally practical for the company in the long run, considering that cable providers pay enormous amounts in retransmission fees yearly to broadcasters. The existing base subscription fee of Aereo is only $8 per month, and it would require sometime for the company to obtain a sizable subscriber base.

It has also been hinted that Aereo could make a move to try to change the Copyright Act in a way that would enable it to keep going. Many would think that this kind of effort is bound to fail since Congress is probably not going to come together on this very controversial case. Nevertheless, there is definitely a case to be made that the law does need to be revised again in relation to the accelerated developments on the Internet.

There is still no clear announcement from the company on what they are going to do next. Perhaps it will depend on what the broadcasters will do. One possibility is the broadcasters will file for damages forcing Aereo to file for bankruptcy. If this happens, it would mean the death of the company.

The broadcasters can force the company into Chapter 7 bankruptcy, sending it down the road to liquidation. They can then obtain the code base as Aereos’ asset. In the future, the broadcasters can seek to resurrect the code, should they want to make direct transmissions to the consumer.

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