Aereo To Supreme Court: Yes, Please Review The Ruling In Which We Trounced The TV Broadcasters
from the let-them-know-it-was-correct dept
While it's an unusual move, there are a few good reasons for it. The first, as Aereo notes in its brief, is the broadcasters have made it abundantly clear that they're going to try to sue Aereo in any jurisdiction it launches service in, hoping to both bleed the company dry of funds and, the broadcasters hope, to find some court somewhere that will rule against Aereo. Getting the case to the Supreme Court now could effectively kill that strategy for the broadcasters. Second, and somewhat more troubling, is that the broadcasters have also been suing wacky billionaire Alki David who claims to have built a similar system as Aereo, though there are significant doubts about that in reality. In the cases against Alki David's company -- whose name has changed from FilmOn (originally) to AereoKiller (subtle) to BarryDriller (aimed at Aereo investor Barry Diller) and then back to FilmOn again -- the broadcasters have been winning. Aereo built its business carefully, with an aim towards following the law very specifically, and has a legal team that understands the issues. David? His response to yet another legal loss was to tell the court to kiss his ass.
Even if it were true that they were doing the same thing, the fact that David doesn't seem to know how to actually present a decent case is simply bad for everyone, because, even if they try not to, judges can't help but be influenced by such activities. Getting the Supreme Court to take on this case now rather than waiting until there's some sort of circuit split between an Aereo case and a FilmOn case hopefully leaves David's ridiculous antics out of the fight, and lets everyone focus on the core copyright issues at hand.
There is, of course, no guarantee that the Supreme Court grants cert to hear the case. But having both parties asking for the same thing is somewhat unusual, and given the issues at play, it makes it somewhat more likely that they'll be willing to check it out.