Aereo, which streams local broadcast television to your mobile devices, has filed a second countersuit against PBS, Fox, and two New York broadcasters already embroiled in legal battle with the entertainment tech startup.
Aereo allows people to receive broadcast TV on their mobile devices using a small, Internet-connected antenna. The antenna, which is roughly the size of a dime, transmits signals like any television antenna would. Customers can watch broadcast television in HD, access content anywhere given its mobile nature, and record shows by connecting their Aereo account to their DVR. The service recently launched to the public in New York, the same state in which the company is being sued.
VentureBeat’s Ben Popper tried out the service. You can check out his thoughts here.
The broadcasters believe Aereo is coming in between the companies’ ability to collect fees on cable company re-transmissions. But Aero, which is backed by Barry Diller, who helped create Fox, says this is a classic case of law needing to keep up with technology. The company sent us this statement when it filed its first countersuit on March 13:
“This case involves nothing more than the application of settled law to updated technology — settled law that establishes conclusively that Aereo’s business is entirely lawful. Plantiff’s Complaints fails because Aereo merely provides technology that consumer may use to what they are legally entitled to do: (1) access free and legally accessible over the air television broadcasts using an antenna; (2) create individual, unique recording of those broadcasts for personal use, see Sony Cor. of America vs Universal Studios, Inc, 464 U.S. 417 (1984); and (3) record and play back those unique recording utilizing a remotely located digital video recorder (“DVR”) to personal devices, see Cartoon Network L.P. vs CSC Holdings Inc., 536 F.3d 121 (2nd Circ. 2008).”