The abundance of stupidity in the legal system is staggering. How these people manage to put their pants on straight every morning escapes my imagination. I have to defer to Hanlon's razor here, but I can't shake the feeling that this a mix of stupidity and malice. You would have to have little regard for others in order to so casually cast aside their rights in order to mitigate the risk you swore an oath to take on. It's impossible to ensure the safety of the people without first securing liberty. Breaching liberty breaches safety. How can one feel safe in public if their liberty is trampled on by officers in the name of safety?
I've been thinking exactly the same thing throughout this whole episode. Broadcasters were given the frequencies for the express reason to provide open access to programming. This just stinks from a mix of anti-competition and rent-seeking. It's inevitable that when someone tries to serve the public something the incumbents aren't but are expected to, the incumbents try to destroy it or force the service to give them a cut, as if Aereo's existence has a negative impact on broadcasters' revenues!
Why should anyone give them a cut? Why should anyone be pushed out of the market when the competition is serving people the incumbents are too apathetic to serve? They complain that companies like Aereo are [moral panic]enriching themselves through the use of the hard work of others.[/moral panic] So fucking what? Everybody that has made any effort to create content has enriched themselves through the use of others' hard work. You can't build a house without lumber and you can't make lumber without trees. But, those trees grew all on their own. They did the work for us and we use them for raw materials. Maybe we should be required to pay the trees a cut of the lumber and construction industry's revenue? We could cut some of them down to make the money we need to pay them!
Nobody will buy a full cable package just to see the OTA content. They would buy "basic" cable, which is much cheaper. The cable packages subsidize the basic cable, no doubt, but they aren't going to let people have basic cable for free when they control access to it.
The big difference is that a cable company runs cable directly from their CO to your house. That cable is theirs and it's their responsibility to maintain. Aereo uses the internet and they are only responsible for the connection up to their ISP. They are not a cable company, they are a web service. If Aereo is a cable company, then so is YouTube, Vimeo, Netflix, and any other web service that is capable of rebroadcasting recorded content.
Millions lost? That rather suspect since they only have that money because the government made it mandatory. Broadcasters would never have lost anything by letting cable rebroadcast for free, the only loss in this situation is the loss of the government handout created by a law mandating licenses for rebroadcasting.
Also, it's quite a stretch to say that Aereo was "reselling" content. They were providing a service that made what was broadcast for free accessible to those in the coverage area, but are unable to receive a signal. That's like reflecting sunlight at those that are trapped in a dark room. Saying they were reselling it is a semantic obfuscation. By your reasoning, selling bottled water should not be allowed. After all, you're reselling water. Oh, I know what you're going to say. You pay for the water you use! So, that makes it different, how? We pay for broadcast television by watching ads. The broadcasters want to be paid and advertisers want eyeballs. It seems like they are trying to milk both ends of the deal. Gee, that sounds a lot like the net neutrality debate! FOX is the ISP, the advertisers are the customers, and Aereo is the web service that enhances the value of the ISP. FOX wants both the customers (i.e. advertisers) and the value-added services (Aereo) to both pay FOX for the two to work together.
This is nothing but an irrational belief. The only reason there's money in licensing this kind of thing is because the law made it happen. That doesn't make it right. That just means that NBC and their ilk can claim a cut of Aereo's revenue for no other reason than that they are making money on it.
Aereo isn't harming broadcasters' business, but, somehow, making money from another person's work is the highest crime of all despite that it doesn't harm the market or brand of the originator. It costs FOX/NBC/ABC etc. nothing to allow Aereo to continue. It only means that they can't put their hands in the Aereo cookie jar. That's what this whole licensing scheme is about, putting their hands in others' bank accounts, even though they lose nothing in the absence of such licenses.
So, go ahead and continue with your special pleading. I know you will.
Re: Ratings Systems - The Gateway Drug to Censorship
Parent's shouldn't have to adapt to the world, the world should have to adapt to them so they can go on their way pretending that sex, drugs, violence, and evolution don't exist. It's hard to be a responsible parent when the government isn't doing the job for them.
Perish the thought that they might actually talk to their children and try to give a rational explanation why they object to certain sources of entertainment.
They shouldn't have to help their child understand why one thing is appropriate and the other is not, because they don't know either. They just mindlessly parrot the same brainwashing they were told as children.
"The Supreme Court ruling on Aereo was the correct one. This was a company who was stealing media content from the licensed authorized broadcaster and tried to profit off content created by others."
Stealing: You keep using that word, but I don't think it means what you think it means.
"Aereo was violating copyright laws by selling access to watch TV shows online without licensing that content from the broadcasters."
No, they were providing a DVR to each customer with a really long cable.
"It doesn't matter what argument anyone comes up with, violating copyright is simply not permitted in this country. Otherwise, torrent sites would have a legitimate argument to push back against the MPAA and RIAA and be able to profit from sharing torrents."
Translation: It doesn't matter what argument anyone comes up with, I've made up my mind and I refuse to listen to any rational, factual argument that is contrary to my opinion. Despite that, I'll say this anyway:
Torrent sites do have a legitimate argument to push back against the MPAA/RIAA. They are search engines that provide files that contain links to the actual hosts with specific content. They host no content of their own, just links. How long will it take to get it through people's heads that the "content theft" they rant about comes from the people that use torrent sites and not the torrent sites themselves? You might as well put Stanley Tools on trial every time people are murdered with one of their hammers.
Let me make this explicitly clear so that anybody with an IQ above room temperature can parse it: Bittorrent is a tool and torrent sites are a tool. Blaming the tool rather than the people that misused it is a special kind of stupid.
Re: And the morons also want jobs working as writers, actors or artists
If selling copies was the only way to make a living in content, you'd be right. However, it is not even remotely close to being the only option. Creating content is a skill, and a skill can be sold as a service. The only thing that will be "destroyed" is the power to control access to content indefinitely as a means to extracting perpetual revenue from something created with a finite amount of labor.
In truth, we can have it both ways. Content as a business thrived long before copyright appeared and it will continue to do so long after copyright ceases to exist.
You can't fix a house while its foundation is crumbling.
Which is why I wish we could just scrap copyright in its entirety. The industry doesn't need copyright, and if you think it does, you should get your head checked. Yank the rug from under them and tell them to go find another business model. They don't get to use the law to externalize risk at the expense of the public welfare.
It makes sense to do what they're doing. You can't create a new market while being immensely obscure. You need to expand adoption so that the positive feedback loop of innovation can build that market for you. The best innovators get the competition to build on their innovations and create a foundation for more innovation.
I wouldn't want that. It puts the server as the mercy of clients. It would make bit-torrent completely infeasible because you could be serving 1000 leechers, but only connection to 10 seeders. It would encourage everyone to leech and discourage them from seeding.