Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Aereo loses, TV wins. Isn't this a bit like Napster?

So the US Supreme Court, on a 6:3 majority only, have ruled that Aereo is illegal. It reverses a lower court decision in favour of Aereo on appeal.

Aereo, as you'll note in other blog posts here, was the online re-broadcaster of TV stations content based on a 8/10 Dollar monthly subscription.

Had the ruling gone the other way (in favour of Aereo) it could have spelt the end of TV.

This is potentially a fatal blow to the online service. 

The problem was copyright violation and the fact that Aereo, by supplying some kit (an aerial etc), it was something different than simply "re broadcasting". Almost like a Video recorded function which was a key Aereo argument.

After all, video recorders re-broadcast content?

Anyway, losing means losing big.

For Aereo to survive now, it will now have to negotiate fees with those broadcasters who've been through court against them. And then, probably at a prohibitive price.....if at all. I don't think they'd even enter the conversation.

It does not affect the likes of Netflix or other streaming services. Equally it won't affect cloud services which store copyrighted content.

I have to say it reminded me of the whole furore over Sean Parker's Napster. It was the fastest growing business one-time with music downloads which the court shut-down.

And then along came Itunes and Parker returned with Spotify. Today he's worth circa 2 Billion usd.

So perhaps Aereo lost today and TV won. But then, perhaps it's only a matter of time......