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Aereo Signals Path to Survival if Classified as Cable System (WSJ)
Aereo Inc., the online video company that was widely expected to go out of business after losing a high-stakes Supreme Court case in June, signaled Wednesday that it sees a path to survival if it is classified in legal terms as a cable system. Mashable Aereo lost its case before the U.S. Supreme Court because a majority of the justices said its resemblance to a cable company meant it had violated copyright laws. Re/code The video streaming company told a U.S. district court in New York Wednesday it now thinks it’s entitled to be licensed as a cable system because of the Supreme Court’s decision. That would allow the company to stay alive although it would have to pay licensing fees in addition to costs to restart its stalled business. Aereo allowed consumers to watch local TV channels over the Internet for a monthly fee of up to $12 until shutting down its service a few weeks ago after the Supreme Court sided with broadcasters. Capital New York The broadcasters responded with their own argument, calling Aereo’s decision “astonishing.” “Whatever Aereo may say about its rationale for raising it now, it is astonishing for Aereo to contend the Supreme Court’s decision automatically transformed Aereo into a ‘cable system’ under Section 111 given its prior statements to this Court and the Supreme Court,” lawyers for the broadcasters wrote. Deadline Hollywood At issue is whether the District Court will lift a stay that allowed Aereo to remain in business while the case made its way to the Supreme Court. Broadcasters want it lifted so they can collect damages from Aereo’s infringement of their copyrights — a two-year period during which they say they “suffered irreparable harm.” Aereo faces additional hurdles even if the District Court agrees with its view. The FCC also might have to agree to define Aereo as a cable operator for it to qualify for the compulsory license — and it would have to be granted by the U.S. Copyright Office.