CBS Will Sue Aereo In Boston, Preferably In The Alternate Reality Where CBS Is Winning

from the keep-angry,-carry-on dept

ChurchHatesTucker points us to the latest news about Aereo, the service that has been facing endless opposition and jumping through countless legal hoops just to be able to offer a simple service that lets people watch public TV broadcasts online. Undaunted, Aereo recently announced plans to launch in Boston, which spurred an analyst to ask CBS (which is engaged in a lawsuit against Aereo in New York) how it would respond:

McClintock (CBS’ exec VP of communications) sure doesn’t mince words, but he does mince reality. The broadcasters are not faring well against Aereo, with the courts all apparently recognizing that the company has carefully followed the letter of the law established in the Cablevision ruling. It’s bizarre that he would try to characterize the situation as an obvious win for CBS when the exact opposite is true — especially in a conversation with tech analysts and journalists. Still, points for confidence, I guess.

It didn’t end there, either:

After [Verge editor Ben] Popper noted that CBS’ signals were not being stolen and that the public owned the airwaves, McClintock responded: “Yet it’s ok for Aereo to profit from the same public. Hmmm…”

Greenfield got in a zinger by noting the similarities between Aereo and Amazon’s services. “Amazon ‘makes money'” Greenfield wrote on Twitter, “on selling antennas to watch broadcast TV, and they ship to Boston.”

The question of “profiting from the public” is a red herring, and not a smart one for CBS to bring up. After all, the networks profit from their public broadcasts, too. Do they plan to give back all the money they have made from selling ads on the publicly-owned airwaves for which they paid no access fee?

The fact that the airwaves are owned by the public only means what it sounds like. It means the ability to broadcast on the airwaves is permitted by the public — it does not have anything to do with how the public accesses those airwaves, or whether or not someone is making a profit. As Greenfield points out, by McClintock’s logic, it would be wrong to charge money for a TV antenna.

The Twitter exchange perfectly highlights a key issue here: thanks to the vagaries of copyright law, the whole fight over Aereo (and over remote DVR) is basically a fight about the length of a wire. Selling a home TV antenna? Legal. Renting a home TV antenna to someone? Yup. Selling someone a setup that hooks their antenna into a computer and then into their network, so they can watch it on any of their devices? No problem. Renting that same setup to them? Sure thing.

But doing any of that from slightly further away? ‘Illegal!’ cry the networks.

Luckily, despite the networks’ facade of confidence and silly threats to pull their broadcasts, the courts seem to be well aware of the ridiculousness of their argument. Given the recent rulings, it seems unlikely that a new lawsuit in Boston would gain much traction — but, of course, just the fact that the lawsuits keep on coming serves as a roadblock to Aereo’s innovation. The broken analogies enforced by copyright law have resulted in an insane situation with online streaming (among other things), and the fact that the fight with Aereo has even gone this far (and shows no signs of stopping) just underscores the severity of the problem.

Filed Under: ,
Companies: aereo, cablevision, cbs

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “CBS Will Sue Aereo In Boston, Preferably In The Alternate Reality Where CBS Is Winning”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
134 Comments
gorehound (profile) says:

Re: Darkest Timeline

Fuck the MAFIAA Studios ! Let them huff and puff and try to blow their house down.
All empty Air with no wind.Their threats are meaningless and we the Educated will Educate our sheep friends.
Just explain to your friends the Law and the intelligent reasons.Take your time as the sheep must be taught.

I welcome Aereo here in Maine ! Come soon please.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

The greed comes from these services that retransmit broadcasts without paying the licensing fees that other pay. They are making money from other people’s work without paying for it, and in doing so are harming the very people they are ripping off. Talk about greedy. These guys are the greediest.

Ruben says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Far from it. I walk upright and do things in the world.

Try again.

What Areo is doing is perfectly legal. Indeed, from where I sit, they’re doing broadcast networks a huge favor by expanding their audience.

Now let me put you into a box. You’re an old white man who hates the world, especially people who enjoy life.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

They aren’t doing them any favors, hence the lawsuits. They are taking money out of the broadcasters pockets that they rely on to bring you the programming for free in the first place. I love people who enjoy life. I just hate closed-minded people who can’t think for themselves and who think everything is black and white, us vs. them.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:7 Re:

You spelled “aereo” wrong in your search. Not sure if that helps.

For a concise explanation of why Cablevision was wrong, I recommend the petition for rehearing en banc: http://www.scribd.com/doc/136308730/Petition

For examples of how this will hurt the industry since others are talking about not paying licensing fees either, see http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303644004577521362073162108.html#articleTabs%3Dvideo and http://paidcontent.org/2013/04/04/does-dish-want-to-buy-aereo-broadcasters-would-love-to-know/

I couldn’t find the CNET article I was thinking of that was along the same lines. I’ll have to keep looking.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:9 Re:

It’s evidence that if Aereo is able to retransmit without paying licensing fees then others will want to jump on that bandwagon as well. Not sure why I need to “try harder” when the incentive to NOT pay fees is self-evident. Perhaps you should try harder at trolling. You’re not very good at it.

RadialSkid (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:10 Re:

Digital antennas don’t require retransmission fees. Cable and satellite services do. I’m not sure why that’s so hard to grasp.

And even, if in some crazy alternate universe, it did lead to the elimination of retransmission fees, then tough shit. It’s the networks’ fault for tailoring their current model exclusively to that system. It’s not the place of government or courts to reinforce their business model, and watching over-the-air television through a digital antenna doesn’t suddenly become “piracy” or “stealing” over it, either.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:11 Re:

A service that retransmits broadcasts publicly without paying the licensing fees is committing piracy for profit at the expense of their victims. You say “tough shit,” while I care about those businesses that make that valuable content. I know this is TD, so you expect to have everything given to you exactly how you want when you want (with Mike’s blessing, of course), but I don’t operate that way. I care about more than just myself. Can I just decide to shit on your rights? Why not?

RadialSkid (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:12 Re:

Please explain again what it is that’s being retransmitted publicly? I don’t see where this is any different from simply renting television antennae.

I care about more than just myself.

Likewise. Which is why, even though I haven’t watched a television program in over a year and have no intentions of doing so any time soon, I’m still arguing for what seems unquestionably to be a legal service.

That Crazy Freetard (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

Exactly how are they stealing something which is broadcast -for free- to the world? I’m just not following your logic here. If they wanted to restrict who can receive it, they’d do some kind of encryption or a poorly implemented and administered ‘six strikes’ program.

Also, you were stereotyping, so Ruben was just returning the favor.

So the question remains. Areo is not altering the broadcast stream in any way. They aren’t removing ads, or replacing them with their own. They’re adding value to an increasingly irrelevant product. What harm is Areo causing to the broadcast networks. These lawsuits look very much like a thinly veiled attempt to stifle innovation.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

“The greed comes from these services taht retransmit broadcasts wihtout paying the licensing fees that other [sic] pay.”

The business world is full of resellers. If you’re afraid of someone buying your product and reselling it for a profit (aka more than you do), you’re doing something wrong.

Advice: Go re-learn business!

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

I’m curious, given Aereo is taking a free, over the air broadcast and re-transmitting it via the internet, what money are you claiming they taking away from the broadcasters, given that those that receive the broadcast wouldn’t have been paying for it anyway, due to the whole ‘free, over the air’ bit?

I mean, if you’re going to keep claiming that Aereo is taking money away from the broadcasters, you kind of need to prove that the broadcasters would have been paid for the content Aereo is offering in the first place.

Franklin G Ryzzo (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

^^Exactly this!

Aereo is not monetizing the network’s “valuable content”. That content is being given away for free over the air. You pay for it by watching the commercials which aereo is leaving intact. Aereo is monetizing a service where they record the free over the air shows you want to watch and then stream them to your computer to watch them at your leisure. They are nothing more than a for-pay remote DVR service for over-the-air broadcasts.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

Of course they’re monetizing it. People are paying them money for that very content. Without that content, no one would pay Aereo. The broadcasters give it away for free to those with antennae to receive it. Many people pay for it over their cable or satellite services regardless because of the convenience and the lack of hassle (I pay for cable access even though I have an antenna that I don’t use). That free content is paid for by commercials and by licensing fees. Aereo is retransmitting the content without paying the licensing fees. This hurts broadcasters who rely on those fees to create the valuable content that Aereo is selling access to. It’s pretty simple stuff.

Togashi (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

The broadcasters give it away for free to those with antennae to receive it.

And Aereo is renting out antennae to receive it. If I set up an antenna at my apartment connected to a personal web server that only I could access, would you argue that I needed to pay a retransmission fee if I were to stream from it while on vacation across the country? Why should anything be different if I’m paying someone else to set up and maintain the antenna and server instead of doing it myself?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Re:

And Aereo is renting out antennae to receive it.

Which is the point. They have a commercial enterprise where for money they will retransmit the work to members of the public.

If I set up an antenna at my apartment connected to a personal web server that only I could access, would you argue that I needed to pay a retransmission fee if I were to stream from it while on vacation across the country?

No, that’s a private performance that requires no license.

Why should anything be different if I’m paying someone else to set up and maintain the antenna and server instead of doing it myself?

Because one is a public performance (Aereo) and one is a private performance (your antenna at home). The former implicates a copyright holder’s exclusive rights, while the latter does not.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:7 Re:

The court disagreed…twice.

If this was copyright infringement, the court would have granted the broadcasters injunction against Aereo. The court explicitly stated that what Aereo was doing was not copyright infringement and therefor, not illegal.

Why do you keep spouting these lies AJ?

Oh wait, I know why…

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:8 Re:

Why do you keep spouting these lies AJ?

Point to where I lied. You can’t. You’re the one lying. The district court said its hands were tied, applied Cablevision, and found that it likely didn’t infringe. The Second Circuit panel majority said the same thing. The dissent distinguished Cablevision and found that it did infringe. The court in California declined to adopt Cablevision and found that it likely infringed. I’ve said nothing that isn’t true. Why are you lying?

Togashi (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:7 Re:

So how do you determine where the line is? Would you think it ok if I paid them to come install the antenna and set up the web server, but on my property? How about if they offered space for me to rent for an antenna, but I had to come out and personally install an antenna and server I had bought myself? How does the same exact result (transmission to a single person over the internet) get to be a private performance one way and a public performance another?

Beech says:

Re: Re: Re:

The greed comes from these people that receive broadcasts without paying the licensing fees that others pay. They are receiving enjoyment from other people’s work without paying for it, and in doing so are harming the very people they are ripping off. Talk about greedy. These guys are the greediest.

FTFY

Anonymous Coward says:

McClintock (CBS’ exec VP of communications) sure doesn’t mince words, but he does mince reality. The broadcasters are not faring well against Aereo, with the courts all apparently recognizing that the company has carefully followed the letter of the law established in the Cablevision ruling.

Mediocre-rapper-turned-not-so-hard-hitting-legal-analyst Marcus misses the fact that the court in California found an Aereo clone service to be illegal. Shocking. Missing too is the fact that the district court and the Second Circuit explicitly said that their hands were tied by the Cablevision ruling. No Cablevision, so far, has meant defeat for Aereo and its clones. The same will likely hold true in the 1st Circuit. But, yeah, ignore the defeat in California and pretend like it’s been nothing but victories, Marcus. We don’t expect the truth from you. This is Techdirt, after all.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

The fact remains that the district court and the Second Circuit both said their hands were tied by Cablevision, so that says to me they would have held differently if there was no Cablevision. The plaintiffs have asked for a rehearing en banc, which would mean that Cablevision could be overturned if granted. The court in California wasn’t tied by Cablevision and found the service illegal. Given all that, I think it looks bad for Aereo and rightfully so. They simply retransmit programming without paying the fees. The only thing innovative about it is that they don’t pay. I know that makes Mike all giggly inside, but that hurts these companies that invest lots of time, money and energy creating the programming we like.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

This is not retransmitting.

One (dime sized) antennae per subscriber capturing OTA signals, which is streamed over the internet to that one and only one subscriber. This is private performance. This is little different than putting an antennae on the roof of your house to capture the freely available OTA signal. The only thing different is the location of the antennae.

Cable companies get one signal and then broadcast the one signal to all of their subscribers. A public performance.

The courts have agreed that this is an important and valid distinction in how the Aereo service differs from cable. And twice they have agreed that this is legal and that the broadcast networks are unlikely to prevail in court which is why they have twice refused to grant an injunction to stop the service.

Once again, this is the entertainment industry refusing to adapt to the internet and trying to abuse their power and control they gain through broken copyright and the abuse of public airwaves that they don’t own.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

Well, it most certainly is a retransmission. Even Aereo admits that. The issue is whether it’s a public performance. It think that Cablevision was wrongly decided as the court conflated a particular transmission with the performance of a work. It’s telling that no other circuit has adopted Cablevision’s reasoning, and there’s tons of commentary condemning its reasoning. We’ll see how long Cablevision survives. My guess is not too much longer.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

But here’s the thing: Aereo deliberately set it up that way in light fo the Cablevision ruling. So if it’s illegal anyway, what is the incentive for obeying a law that is intentionally obfuscated with the main intention of being found illegal regardless?

Seriously, what if the damn point of businesses obeying a law and the caselaw, then being told that “no, that’s not actually what the law does and you’r eint he wrong regardless!”

That’s idiotic at best, and downright shameful at worst.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Re:

This right here.

The dissenting judge called out Aereo for the direction they took with building their service as being a “loophole”. Aereo didn’t have to build their service using a 1:1 setup. One antenna is enough. But, in order to comply with copyright law, they did. And what did it get them? Sued.

Don’t follow the law. Get sued.

Follow the law. Get sued.

This is just one of the many reasons why copyright law is horribly broken for a digital age.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:7 Re:

Judge Chin also took pains to explain why in his opinion Aereo was different than Cablevision. He explicitly said that they weren’t following the law established by Cablevision. Sites like Techdirt ignore that, of course, in their haste to make him sound unreasonable. Read the dissent.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Re:

I agree that they set it up to be legal under Cablevision. There’s nothing wrong with that, and I disagree with those that label this as a “loophole” (though Mike, of course, uses that word when the tables are turned) to imply that it’s wrong. I’m not convinced that Aereo isn’t distinguishable from Cablevision, though, for some of the reasons Judge Chin stated in dissent. But I think there’s a great argument that they are just like Cablevision too. That’s a close call, IMO.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

Oh boy!
I am in trouble now, because I retransmit TV signals to the wife’s phone, which she uses to as a VCR, did you know that smartphones have HDMI cables nowadays?

Which brings me to another place, smartphones today can capture OTA and retransmit that to whatever place they are configured, sure it is a bit on the technnical side right now, but nothing stops people from doing it, you capture the stream and send it to whatever IP you like, this is how friends could help each other to bypass “forced blackouts”.

OMG we all will become thieves, OMG! OMG!

Nah! who cares?

Karl (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Oh, did Magic Mike not cover the defeat to Aereokiller in California?

No, but he did cover Aerokiller owner Alki David’s stupid lawsuit against CBS, claiming that CBS wanted a monopoly on piracy.

And it’s notable that when he did, you agreed with him:
http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20110504/12543914144/silly-lawsuit-filed-against-cbs-because-subsidiary-cnet-offered-limewire-download.shtml#c85

Of course, at that time, you were using your “FUDBuster” sock puppet.

I guess you’ll jump on any side that seems to be “pro-copyright,” no matter how silly it is, who says it, or why.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Wow. Huh? I always take the side that I think has the better legal argument. There’s no such thing as fourth-party liability. I stand by that. I also think that when CNET uploaded 220M copies of Limewire with instructions showing it being used for infringement, they were potentially opening themselves up to liability. Not sure how that’s so silly, with Grokster and all. I think it’s silly to pretend like that conduct is perfectly legitimate. It’s not. They changed their behavior in the end, did they not? That kind of says it all. Great stuff, Karl. Pointless, but good times nonetheless. Thanks for stopping by.

Karl (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

I always take the side that I think has the better legal argument.

No, you don’t. You always take the side of the copyright holders, regardless of the merits of their cases. Not once have you ever sided against copyright holders – or even people who merely claimed to be copyright holders.

You’re more than just a copyright maximalist; you’re a copyright reactionary.

I also think that when CNET uploaded 220M copies of Limewire with instructions showing it being used for infringement,

Except that’s not what they did.

They changed their behavior in the end, did they not?

No, they did not.

Limewire, the company, itself prohibited all distribution of its software (ironically, even threatening IP lawsuits if anyone did so). That includes CNET, of course. But Frostwire – the open-source version of Limewire – is still available from CNET as we speak.

On the other hand, the lawsuit against CBS/CNET was dropped like a hot sack of dog shit.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

No, you don’t. You always take the side of the copyright holders, regardless of the merits of their cases. Not once have you ever sided against copyright holders – or even people who merely claimed to be copyright holders.

That’s not true, Karl. For example, Marcus’s article yesterday: http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20130425/11554022838/appeals-court-overturns-richard-prince-ruling-victory-fair-use-appropriation-art.shtml

I agree that it was fair use and that the copyright holder was wrong. I think the copyright holder had a nonfrivolous argument that it was infringement, but I agree with the Second Circuit’s determination that it was not. Oops. I didn’t support the copyright holder. Did I just blow your (closed) mind?

You’re more than just a copyright maximalist; you’re a copyright reactionary.

No, I call them like I see them. I think most instances of wholesale infringement are simple cases that get FUD’ed out by the likes of you and Mike who grasp at any argument you can muster to defend obvious pirates.

Except that’s not what they did.

Can you elaborate? Just telling me I’m wrong without explaining why gets us nowhere.

out_of_the_blue says:

It's not possible that you don't grasp "airwaves" and "content".

‘”profiting from the public” is a red herring, and not a smart one for CBS to bring up. After all, the networks profit from their public broadcasts, too. Do they plan to give back all the money they have made from selling ads on the publicly-owned airwaves for which they paid no access fee?’

So, minion, you’re deliberately conflating empty spectrum space with deliberately crafted broadcast content. Simply shameless in the way you attack ownership of content.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: It's not possible that you don't grasp "airwaves" and "content".

I’m bringing some reality to Techdirt. Sorry you idiots can’t handle it–Mike especially. Trying to play the “they’re big, evil, greedy copyright holders!” card is just dumb. They make valuable programming that we all enjoy that costs them real money to make. Services like Aereo are just trying to reap where they haven’t sown. It’s bullshit.

Coyote says:

Re: Re: Re: It's not possible that you don't grasp "airwaves" and "content".

Innovation is the back of progress; like a train, it comes on trucking through, and moves forward our society little by little, inch by inch. Ignoring innovation because you believe the crux of technology and innovation has been reached is doubly foolish — medicine did not get better until people started learning, and making safer, better alternatives to what was in place already.

Face it — the legacy gatekeepers are the leeches and the drills of the Dark Ages, and startups are the peasants, who rise up with new ideas, new ways to make money or help people live better, and fuller lives, with better services than the gatekeepers are willing to provide.

But you won’t, of course. You’ll ignore it because you think the crux of technology is today — that we are at the perfect technology level when we aren’t even close.

tomxp411 (profile) says:

Browncoats unite....

You can’t stop the signal!

Wait, you mean the bad guys are the ones sending the signal?

Honestly, the attempts to stop us from using broadcast television amaze me: The attempt to ban VCR’s, the attempts to stop people from having Superbowl parties.

How is it STEALING when someone INCREASES your viewer base? Isn’t that the point of television, to get your content to as many people as possible? You’d think that the networks would be trying to help aero, not trying to shut them down.

This makes absolutely no sense to me.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Browncoats unite....

No, it’s a licensing fee that they are entitled to under the law by those who retransmit their works publicly. These fees are part of how they make the money that allows them to create the content and give it away to consumers for free in the first place. It’s so evil! Not.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Browncoats unite....

Oh, Aereo doesn’t capture the transmission and then retransmit it to its customers? Weird. It’s almost like that’s exactly what they do–which might explain why they don’t even deny that they do that. Yes, you are transmitting the signal from your rooftop antenna to your TV. The difference is that is not a public performance so no license is needed. If I’m such a moron, why is it that I understand this stuff and you don’t? Weird.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Browncoats unite....

I think the “longer cord” argument is bogus. The difference is that it’s a commercial operation that retransmits the broadcasts for profit. That makes it a public performance necessitating licensing. You can run the longest cord you can find to yourself and still be private. Once you start running long cords for others for profit, you’re publicly performing the works.

tomxp411 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Browncoats unite....

Gah. I wish the FCC had never changed the rule on local TV stations.

As far as I’m concerned, once you broadcast a signal, there should be no limitations on re-transmitting. After all, re-transmitting your signal can only make you more money by raising your ratings.

These TV stations want to double-dip, and I think it’s ludicrous.

Beech says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Browncoats unite....

Ok, so assume I live in Boston, and I could easily receive all the Boston-based OTA signals if I installed a cheap aluminum antenna. That would be moral/ethical/legal, etc. right?

So what if a neighbor comes up and offers to “sell” me the exact same OTA content by “leasing” me use of antenna in his yard. Is that different? Does it become illegal/immoral to sell something to someone who already has access to it? Like bottled water?

Or what if Aereo was selling SUPER-physics-defying antennae that would allow you to pick up signals from Boston from miles outside of their normal viewing area? What if they leased me the “SPD antenna” for a small monthly fee, but it was still physically located on my property? What if the SPD antenna was located a couple miles from my house and connected by a singular copper wire? What if it instead connected to a modem which connected to my computer?

Just having problems seeing where exactly you thing Aereo went “wrong.” IMHO, CBS is throwing their so-called “valuable” content all over the place, willy nilly. Now they are mad at someone else for picking it up and selling it to someone else. It would be like the local Chinese place putting a menu in my door, then suing me because I sold their menu to a Canadian collector of fine chinese menus.

tomxp411 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Browncoats unite....

and there’s the problem.

I could see the point if this was a cable network, but broadcast television stations make their income from advertising, anyone with a receiver can pick up the signal for free.

So it makes no sense to me that adding an intermediary in the process should suddenly mean that the TV network deserves more money: they are already MAKING more money in the form of increased revenue from the higher ad rates as a result of the higher ratings of you watching their network.

All this BS can be traced back to the FCC changing the rules on must-carry and broadcast TV stations being able to charge cable networks. I think we should go with a much simpler system: sell advertising or programming, but not both.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Browncoats unite....

I could see the point if this was a cable network, but broadcast television stations make their income from advertising, anyone with a receiver can pick up the signal for free.

Broadcasters also collect fees from cable and satellite companies that pay to retransmit the broadcasts.

Beech says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Browncoats unite....

Seems like a lame argument. If a man is standing in the ocean selling saltwater, and people are dumb enough to be buying it, does that mean I am doing something immorally, illegally reprehensible if I bottle some for myself?

Just because cable/satellite companies are paying doesn’t mean everyone else has to. I mean, you may still be right, but this particular argument doesn’t seem all that convincing. I would guess it’s something like an “appeal to authority” logical fallacy, “well this big company is doing something, i guess that means everyone else has to too”

tomxp411 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Browncoats unite....

Broadcasters also collect fees from cable and satellite companies that pay to retransmit the broadcasts

That’s not entirely true: apparently, some TV stations are classified as “must-carry”, and they cannot charge cable companies. The flip side of the coin is that cable companies (surprise) must carry the TV station.

But aside from that, my outrage is more one of principle than legality. I don’t care for the whole double-dipping thing, as it just serves to raise cable rates without any benefit to the consumer.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Browncoats unite....

That’s not entirely true: apparently, some TV stations are classified as “must-carry”, and they cannot charge cable companies. The flip side of the coin is that cable companies (surprise) must carry the TV station.

I don’t think any of the stations at issue (NBC, CBS, ABC, FOX, etc.) are rebroadcast under the must-carry rules. Cable and satellite operators rebroadcast these stations because they want to (because they’re valuable). Must-carry refers to the stations they don’t want to carry but have to under FCC rules. I don’t think that applies here.

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: *Ahem*

Worldwide Music Industry Revenues: 2006 ($60.7 billion), 2007 ($61.5 billion), 2008 ($62.6 billion), 2009 ($65.0 billion), 2010 ($66.4 billion), 2011 ($67.6 billion)

North American Music Industry Revenues: $23.1 billion (2006), $24.2 billion (2007), $24.7 billion (2008), $25.3 billion (2009), $26.0 billion (2010), $26.5 billion (2011)

Worldwide International Box Office (US $ Billions) from (2001-2007): $8.6 (2001), $10.5 (2002), $10.9 (2003), $15.7 (2004), $14.3 (2005), $16.3 (2006), $17.1 (2007)

Domestic Box Office (US $ Billions) from (2001-2007): $8.125 (2001), $9.272 (2002), $9.165 (2003), $9.215 (2004), $8.832 (2005), $9.138 (2006), $9.629 (2007)

You were saying?

horse with no name says:

Re: Re: Re:2 *Ahem*

You need to go back a little further to understand. Worldwide music sales 2000 was over 100 billion.

For movie box office, you need to look at average ticket price versus tickets sold. Revenue increases are entirely from ticket price increases which are attributed mostly to Imax and 3D. There is a significant drop in attendance.

Try again!

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Browncoats unite....

Sounds like someone is mad that they can’t afford another solid gold Humvee… or diamond-studded swimming pool.

Even your paymasters at the RIAA and MPAA disagree with you. Every single fucking year Mitch Bainwol and Chris Dodd laugh all the way to the bank with their increasing bonuses.

Until you can explain exactly how a starving, dying recording industry can still afford to pay its lobbying stooges through the nose each year, with interest, you can go fuck yourself with a plank of wood. With nails hammered through it.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Browncoats unite....

They only want to stop Aereo as long as the courts won’t allow them to extort an operation tax.

Retransmit the broadcast signal in accordance with established case law? Have some vexatious litigation.
Retransmit the broadcast signal in accordance with established case law and pay fistfuls of protection money for the privilege to do so? Go right ahead.

Anonymous Coward says:

Dear CBS and other network executives. If you are not going to make your shows available online then someone else will by pirating or offering competing services.

Just because you want to put your fingers in your ears and shout won’t stop it from occurring. Perhaps if you partnered with new technologies you could profit from them rather than trying to slow or stop them with frivolous litigation.

Anonymous Coward says:

And I’m SURE the CBS news will do a good job covering this story fairly… NOT.

A few weeks ago the coverage I saw about it on NBC Nightly news was just sickening. It basically consisted of the following.

-Stating that Aereo is ‘Stealing’ over 100 million dollars worth of content from the over the networks.

-Making it sound like Aereo is really evil because they’re using a ‘loophole’ in the law to ‘steal’ the broadcasting signal. Failing to mention when explaining the loophole just how absurd it is for Aereo to need 1 antenna per subscriber.

-Implying that Aereo is also stealing Cable and Satellite signals that consumers actually pay for, even though they do no such thing.

Anonymous Coward says:

Yeah, it would be super immoral to profit off of the public, right CBS? Oh…wait…

CBS CORPORATION REPORTS RECORD RESULTS FOR THE
2012 FOURTH QUARTER AND FULL YEAR
Fourth Quarter Revenue of $3.7 Billion, Up 2%
Fourth Quarter Adjusted OIBDA of $866 Million, Up 6%
Fourth Quarter Operating Income of $726 Million, Up 12%
Fourth Quarter Adjusted Diluted EPS of $.64, Up 14%; Diluted EPS of $.62, Up 19%

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: I have a question.

It’s the only way to get that high. You’ve got to be a complete monster, an utter sociopath, to betray, backstab, and blackmail yourself all the way to the top.

Unfortunately, the end result is that companies exhibit this sort of bizarre, self-destructive behavior; long-term sustainability eschewed for short-term (personal) profit, violently lashing out at anything perceived as possibly impacting (personal) revenue in the slightest, etc.

wec says:

Seems to me that most everybody is talking as if the broadcasts over the public airways are like some physical thing you can hold in your hand and then give/sell to someone. I don’t see it that way. Once you broadcast something into the ether, you no longer have control of it. Anybody can take that broadcast and do what they want without anybody knowing about it.

The broadcaster cannot physically stop anyone from acquiring the signal. You can have laws passed, but how do enforce these laws when there are millions of people within the broadcast area who receive the transamission free. How can you acquire the broadcast illegally?

Anonymous Coward says:

the two bodies (courts and congress) that could end these disputes and prevent any more from even starting are getting so much in back-handers, they have no intention of doing anything. if i want to phone my uncle in the next town, then want to phone another uncle overseas, which one am i prevented from doing, even thought the phone lines are different lengths? exactly! neither. no difference here. the problem may well be that the established entertainment industries, that dont want to introduce new services or even update existing ones, dont want new kids coming to the block. i hope that there isn’t a running out of funds as is a usual game played by the industries, so that, even though they lose, the ‘opposition’ have to quit through lack of money. that is real naughty!!

Anonymous Coward says:

Honestly, I’m a bit confused about the whole argument. Perhaps traveling to Asia for so long I’m a bit lost on why this is something unique and disruptive. Cellular TV has been around in Japan for awhile, and honestly it’s rather annoying. Check out Nottv: http://www.nottv.jp/
They have the same subscription service, and everything is perfectly okay there?

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...
Loading...
Older Stuff
09:00 Awesome Stuff: Monitor Everything (5)
09:00 Awesome Stuff: Cool Components (1)
12:42 Tech Companies Ask European Commission Not To Wreck The Internet -- And You Can Too (4)
09:00 Awesome Stuff: Play & Listen (1)
09:00 Awesome Stuff: Beyond Chiptunes (12)
09:00 Awesome Stuff: Updated Classics (3)
09:00 Awesome Stuff: Celebrating Cities (1)
09:00 Awesome Stuff: Crafts Of All Kinds (5)
09:00 Awesome Stuff: One Great Knob (13)
09:00 Awesome Stuff: Simple Geeky Toys (2)
09:00 Awesome Stuff: Gadgets For The New Year (18)
09:00 Awesome Stuff: A Post-Holiday Grab Bag (0)
13:34 How Private-Sector Innovation Can Help Those Most In Need (21)
09:00 Awesome Stuff: Towards The Future Of Drones (17)
09:00 Awesome Stuff: Artisanal Handheld Games (5)
09:00 Awesome Stuff: A New Approach To Smartphone VR (5)
09:00 Awesome Stuff: Let's Bore The Censors (37)
09:00 Awesome Stuff: Open Source For Your Brain (2)
09:00 Awesome Stuff: The Final Piece Of The VR Puzzle? (6)
09:00 Awesome Stuff: The Internet... Who Needs It? (15)
09:00 Awesome Stuff: The Light Non-Switch (18)
09:00 Awesome Stuff: 3D Printing And Way, Way More (7)
13:00 Techdirt Reading List: Learning By Doing (5)
12:43 The Stagnation Of eBooks Due To Closed Platforms And DRM (89)
09:00 Awesome Stuff: A Modular Phone For Makers (5)
09:00 Awesome Stuff: Everything On One Display (4)
09:00 Awesome Stuff: Everything Is Still A Remix (13)
09:00 Awesome Stuff: Great Desk Toy, Or Greatest Desk Toy? (6)
09:00 Awesome Stuff: Sleep Hacking (12)
09:00 Awesome Stuff: A Voice-Operated Household Assistant (19)
More arrow