Aereo Fallout Begins: Fox Uses Ruling To Attack Dish's Mobile Streaming Service

from the because-welcome-to-this-new-mess dept

We’ve been saying that the Aereo ruling is going to create a litigation headache for a number of companies… and here we go. You may recall that a bunch of TV broadcasters have sued Dish over its attempts to provide innovative features to consumers, such as its Dish AutoHopper and its Dish Anywhere streaming offering. So far, those lawsuits have gone nowhere and fast. But Fox sees renewed life in its effort to shut down innovation thanks to the Supreme Court’s unfortunate “looks like a duck” test.

Within hours of Wednesday’s ruling, Fox had run to the 9th Circuit appeals court with the news. The 9th Circuit had previously rejected Fox’s attempt to shut down the Dish technology, but Aereo has renewed its hopes of killing some innovation:

Fox’s lawyers believe the Aereo ruling strengthens their case against Dish. In a letter to the court Richard Stone, partner at Jenner & Block, wrote that the supreme court had ruled Aereo’s service constitutes an “unauthorized public performance of Fox’s copyrighted works.”

“Dish, which engages in virtually identical conduct when it streams Fox’s programming to Dish subscribers over the internet – albeit also in violation of an express contractual prohibition – has repeatedly raised the same defenses as Aereo which have now been rejected by the supreme court,” he wrote.

Stone highlighted that the court had specifically rejected Aereo’s assertion that it is “merely and equipment provider” and that Aereo’s subscribers were the ones transmitting content.

Get ready, because Aereo is going to get cited a lot by the legacy entertainment industry as they quickly seek to destroy innovation.

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Companies: aereo, dish, fox

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Comments on “Aereo Fallout Begins: Fox Uses Ruling To Attack Dish's Mobile Streaming Service”

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41 Comments
Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Worst of the pack?

Its more like par for the course. I never understand why people try to elevate one business over another one. On deep inspection, you will find almost every large corporation sinful as hell regardless of which Religious, Ethical, or Social standard you use.

Kill a person… you are a murderer…
Murder Millions and you are a CONQUEROR!

See how that works out?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: And this is why...

Yep, that’s another reason why it’s so short sighted to push SOPA/TTPA/etc.

They might score a short win and more profits today, but tomorrow they’re undermining themselves a ton for when the future generation takes over and repeals all that crap, and a lot of the old copyright laws to.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: And this is why...

It will be interesting when they get older enough to dictate the rules.

After many years of observation, I have stopped being surprised at how frequently logic, passion, and righteous indignation at the injustices of The System can be dulled by six figures, stock options, and performance bonuses.

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: Re: And this is why...

Not just young people. I’m an old guy, and the cumulative effect of all the changes in copyright law and the abusive actions of industries in the name of copyright have pretty much eliminated my respect for it as well.

To clarify: I believe that sane and reasonable copyright law can have be of great societal value. I don’t believe that we have sane and reasonable copyright law.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Of course, some of us live in areas where we don’t have many options for internet, and are stuck with bandwidth caps that make streaming, given the amount of content we watch, an option that’s not viable. My choices are my cable company’s internet with a 250gb cap (and then overages, or a more expensive plan with a higher cap that would end up really costing me as much as my pay TV service does by the time all the extra fees are added on), or 1.5mbit DSL that would barely train up at half of that on a good day toward the end of my five five year tenure with Qwest (now Centurylink). There are also shows on certain channels I watch (and enjoy) that are not carried on streaming services.

Anonymouse says:

Fox does realize that Dish actually does have a license to rebroadcast, unlike Aereo, and that was the heart of the “quacks like a mongoose” reasoning the Supreme Kangaroo Court used?

Fox is just throwing away money, money they will recoup in the next round of retransmission fee negotiations, and we’re all going to pay for it no matter what broadcast aggregator company we are using.

John Cressman (profile) says:

Again... a simple idiot test...

Again… ALL JUDGES – ESPECIALLY SUPREME COURT JUSTICES – need to be FORCED to pass a basic understanding test of whatever subject they are sitting in judgement of or be forced to recuse themselves. Sure… there would be a TON of recusals, but it would be better than terrible rulings.

It’s just not fair that the ignorant make decisions that affect everyone.

Quiet Lurcker says:

Re: Again... a simple idiot test...

A noble thought, but likely rather impractical. You can’t really know what knowledge is needed to understand a case until very shortly before it goes to trial. And by then (at least under current rules), the judge can’t recuse without REALLY good reason.

I’m actually more concerned with two facts. First, it’s obvious to me, that SCOTUS has started giving a lot more weight to political considerations in their rulings than in past. Second, it’s equally obvious to me that they’ve started showing signs of being incapable of basic, rational thought processes.

andypandy says:

Big loss but also a big win for the future

Media companies like fox are always looking at the very near future, they are incapable of looking further than a a year or two into the future.

This ruling will stifle innovation there is no doubt about it, fox proves this by using the ruling a few hours later to demand a Judge rule in their favour in the Dish case.

What many do not realise is that in the not too distant future the people are going to demand changes to copyright laws, and this case is a perfect example of why and when used in future arguments will work against the big providers and distributors.

I am sad this happened but also relived to know that this is just more evidence as to why the big three need to be cut up and the laws now have to be changed or the country will face irrelevance in media circles very soon.

The fact is there are more and more STARTUPS creating content and they do not have to follow the old copyright laws and will have more power to change the laws in the future to enable people

Anonymouse says:

I do not know how, exactly, the Hopper works. So I do not know if it is:

Saved on network devices and sent via the internet to a subscriber device after login.

Saved on a consumer home device (even a rented one) and then transmitted from that device over the internet to another device the subscribe logs in from.

One is the company rebroadcasting, the other is the subscriber time and place shifting. One requires a separate license (for reasons that are still unclear to me…its all 1’s and 0’s now, right?), and the other has already been cleared by the courts as acceptable.

Kyle says:

Here’s the thing. Aereo was retransmitting and that is where SCOTUS got them (although I disagree with their interpretation). DISH on the other hand does not retransmit the content, it provides a built-in SLING adapter to do that. It’s up to the end-user to do what they wish with the content they paid for, this includes sending it via stream to themselves. That is the fundamental difference between the two.

1st Dread Pirate Roberts (profile) says:

Sell the equipment

Some of the disqussion I’ve heard about aero is that they retransmit “about the same time” as the transmission which is freely available through public airwaves. If I could hook up an HD antenna to my phone I could pick up the signals. So, what if:

1. They delayed the retransmission (some sites said maybe 10 minutes, what about an hour?)
2. What if they SOLD the equipment to the subscribers rather than renting it? Maybe $99 or $129 depending upon the amount of data storage you want. They would just be another cloud service. In fact, they could encrypt the signals when recorded, and decrypt them only on the subscriber’s system. Now it CAN’T be a public performance.

Let’s be real, here. You only get the signals for your local area. You can’t get Chicago channels if you live in New York. Some of us live in areas where there are NO channels via HD. Our options are limited. Lucky guys.

Whatever (profile) says:

Re: Sell the equipment

1) The answer is hard to pin down. I think that “length of the program” may end up being a potential yardstick.
2) Still dancing around the legal head of the pin. It’s not the equipment that is relevant, it’s the service rendered. The issue is that for a single user in a single case, it’s likely not an issue. However, Aereo does it on a massive scale, parallel. That is the nature of a cable TV undertaking – or even better IPtv.

You only get the signals for your local area.

Actually, Aereo also included (in New York) Bloomberg Financial, which was not broadcast.

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