In a joint letter to the Court filed yesterday, online TV provider Aereo and the major broadcast networks laid out their positions on the next steps in their litigation following the Supreme Court’s recent ruling in favor of the broadcasters.  Despite the Supreme Court’s ruling, the battle appears set to rage on before Judge Nathan.

Continue Reading Another Wrinkle in Aereo Case: Did the Supreme Court Turn Aereo Into a Cable Company?

In a case originating from the Southern District (see our prior coverage here), the Supreme Court today ruled 6-3 that Aereo, a company that streams live broadcast television over the internet (with a slight delay) violates the Copyright Act’s “Transmit Clause,” which gives copyright owners the exclusive right to public performance of their work. From Justice Breyer’s majority opinion:

Continue Reading Supreme Court Rules Against Aereo Internet TV Service

The Supreme Court today granted certiorari to review the legality of Aereo, a service that streams live broadcast television over the internet (with a slight delay).  In July 2012, Judge Nathan denied the TV networks’ motion to preliminarily enjoin the service, and the Second Circuit affirmed in April 2013.  Prior posts on the case are here. The Supreme Court also granted certiorari in Argentina v. NML Capital, Ltd., a case originating before Judge Griesa and raising the question of where judgment creditors can seek discovery relating to a foreign sovereign.  More on the NML case is available at SCOTUSBlog.

In an opinion issued today, Judge Nathan denied the motion of several major broadcast television networks to enjoin Barry Diller-backed start-up Aereo from offering its Internet television service to subscribers. This decision follows an expedited spate of briefing and a two-day hearing, which the SDNY Blog has covered in previous posts. Judge Nathan’s decision, which goes deep into the weeds of the various technologies involved in Aereo’s offerings, turns on the applicability of the Second Circuit’s Cablevision decision, which held that a traditional DVR system did not infringe a copyright owner’s public performance rights under the Copyright Act. Judge Nathan summarized each side’s version of the applicability of Cablevision to Aereo’s product:

Continue Reading Judge Nathan Denies TV Networks’ Motion for Preliminary Injunction Against Aereo

In separate filings today, both sides in the broadcast television networks’ action to preliminarily enjoin the Aereo Internet television service (which we have blogged about on several occasions) put forth competing proposed findings of fact and law to Judge Nathan, as the parties await the Court’s ruling after a two-day preliminary injunction hearing in late-May. The parties offered starkly contrasting descriptions of the Aereo product. Which version of the parties’ characterization of the Aereo service Judge Nathan accepts will likely go a long way to determining whether the Aereo service violates the Copyright Act or not, and thus whether the company’s business can survive.

Continue Reading Parties Submit Dueling Proposed Findings of Fact and Law in Aereo Preliminary Injunction Matter

As we previously reported, the preliminary injunction hearing between Internet TV start-up Aereo and the major network broadcasters went forward last week before Judge Nathan. Yesterday, the broadcasters got presumably their last bite at the apple, with a reply brief in further support of their original motion for the injunction. In the brief, the broadcasters take on Aereo’s argument that Internet streaming of live TV (on a seven-second delay) is akin to the “time-shifting” function of a DVR or VHS, and thus protected under the Supreme Court’s historic Sony decision and the Second Circuit’s holding in Cartoon Network v. CSC Holdings (“Cablevision“). In contrast to the recording devices at issue in those cases, the broadcasters argue, Aereo’s service does not permit individual users to copy specific programs for later consumption. Instead, Aereo itself captures the over-the-air (“OTA”) signals of broadcast television and then retransmits them to subscribers over the Internet. In addition, Aereo’s service allows consumers to view copyrighted content in a completely different medium — on computers or handheld devices over the Internet, rather than on televisions — which the broadcasters claim puts the Aereo service outside of the scope of Sony and Cablevision.

Continue Reading Broadcasters Attempt to Distinguish Aereo’s Internet-TV Service from DVRs in Reply Brief

Today, after extensive, fast-paced briefing from both the parties and potential amici, Judge Nathan will hold a preliminary injunction hearing that will decide, at least for the short-term, the fate of internet television start-up Aereo. As we explained in an earlier post, Judge Nathan has already dismissed the plaintiffs’ state law unfair competition claim as preempted by the Copyright Act. Now, the Court will be asked to determine whether Aereo’s service violates the Copyright Act itself.

Continue Reading Preliminary Injunction Hearing in Aereo Case Goes Forward Today

In an opinion issued today, a divided panel of the Second Circuit affirmed Judge Nathan’s denial of the motion for a preliminary injunction by a group of television networks against internet television provider Aereo. As we have covered in several prior posts, the networks are seeking to prevent what they claim is unauthorized infringing use of their broadcast television programming over the internet. Judge Nathan denied the motion, citing the Second Circuit’s prior opinion in Cartoon Network LP, LLLP v. CSC Holdings, Inc., 536 F.3d 121 (2d Cir. 2008). The Second Circuit affirmed Judge Nathan’s ruling, holding that she “correctly concluded that Aereo’s system is not materially distinguishable from the system upheld in Cartoon Network.” In a lengthy dissent, Judge Chin disagreed, calling Aereo’s technology a “sham” to avoid the copyright laws.

Continue Reading Second Circuit Affirms Judge Nathan’s Denial of Television Networks’ Motion for Preliminary Injunction