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Online TV Service Aereo Launches as Lawsuits Swirl

Streaming TV startup Aereo launched this week in the New York market, amid lawsuits claiming copyright infringement. A lawsuit by CBS, NBC, and ABC, led to this terse joint statement:

“This service is based on the illegal use of our content. Beyond that, we believe the complaint speaks for itself.”

WABC president and general manager Dave Davis tells FishbowlNY that based on two lawsuits, he wasn’t able to comment.

“It’s in the lawyers hands,” Davis admits.  

After the broadcast networks filed a suit against Aereo, the new company retaliated with a countersuit. Aereo contends that its service does not infringe on broadcasters’ copyrights since it only streams content that viewers are legally entitled to access via satellite.

Aereo works as a Web-based, mobile device TV product, offering over-the-air programs with a 90-day free trial for subscribers, only on New York stations at this point. It’s $12 a month after that.

Despite the fight with broadcasters, initial reviews for Aereo have been favorable.

Technologyreview.com writes, “Overall, despite my limited ability to use the service, and my encounters with a few glitches, using Aereo was an exciting experience.”

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