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IowaCowboy
Iowa native
Premium
join:2010-10-16
Springfield, MA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Verizon Broadban..
·Comcast

They had it coming

Call it piracy, call it stealing, call it whatever but they have no right to charge for retransmission of a signal without compensating the TV station owners.

At least this judge got it right. At least with a VCR, you own the VCR and the magnetic cassettes that go into them.

ke4pym
Premium
join:2004-07-24
Charlotte, NC
Reviews:
·Northland Cable ..
·Time Warner Cable
·ooma
·VOIPO
·Verizon Broadban..
said by IowaCowboy:

Call it piracy, call it stealing, call it whatever but they have no right to charge for retransmission of a signal without compensating the TV station owners.

At least this judge got it right. At least with a VCR, you own the VCR and the magnetic cassettes that go into them.

It's actually up to the TV station to determine whether or not they charge. It's all wrapped up in the must-carry rules the FCC laid out a decade or three ago.

slow_move

join:2012-07-20
Coram, NY

4 recommendations

reply to IowaCowboy
What Aereo is doing is what we are all allowed to do. Put up an antenna and use the signal. There is no law stating that the antenna has to be a certain distance from your tv. I know some buildings actually share 1 antenna with all users. The bottom line is that we are free to capture the signal from the airwaves and use it without paying. The networks should be happy people are watching and they can charge a lot for commercials. \

silbaco
Premium
join:2009-08-03
USA
You are free to do it yourself for yourself, but Aereo is doing it for someone else and charging a subscription fee for the service. That is where things start to get fuzzy.

smcallah

join:2004-08-05
Home
reply to IowaCowboy
Are you not understanding Aereo's business model? If you sign up, there is a micro-antenna dedicated to YOU and only you. That is no different than if you had an antenna on your house. It's as if you had a long cable to your antenna in order to get the OTA signal to your house.

Skippy25

join:2000-09-13
Hazelwood, MO
reply to IowaCowboy
I would agree, they have absolutely no right to charge for retransmission of a signal.

Therefore, it is a damn good thing they are not retransmitting a signal. That could get them in some legal hot water.

Millenium

join:2013-10-30
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable

1 recommendation

reply to slow_move
What no one can do legally is put up an antenna and then turn around and sell the broadcaster's signal to others, which is what Aereo is doing.

Aereo argues they are selling the antenna, digitizing, compression, and DVR service - not the underlying signal

The broadcasters argue it's their signal Aereo is capturing, digitizing, compressing, distributing, and selling. They would argue it should be entirely within their discretion to deny the service or charge a fee to Aereo.

The two are arguably inseparable. It'll be interesting to see how the Supreme Court rules on this.

Millenium

join:2013-10-30
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
reply to IowaCowboy
said by IowaCowboy:

At least this judge got it right. At least with a VCR, you own the VCR and the magnetic cassettes that go into them.

With a VCR, you aren't out selling copies.


IowaCowboy
Iowa native
Premium
join:2010-10-16
Springfield, MA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Verizon Broadban..
·Comcast
said by Millenium:

said by IowaCowboy:

At least this judge got it right. At least with a VCR, you own the VCR and the magnetic cassettes that go into them.

With a VCR, you aren't out selling copies.

I grew up in the '90s so I'm comparing a VCR to a DVR. We used to tape TV shows off the air all the time. I used to watch the shows as they aired and paused the tape when the commercials came on and the commercials were automatically skipped when I played the tapes back. What fun we had back then. But then there were the issues with tracking (distorted playback) and VCRs eating tapes so you'd have a $19.99 movie that was ruined. I taught myself how to splice VCR tapes with scotch tape.

Technology has basically ruined lives. People basically glued to their smartphones, they can never leave work as they have to respond to calls and e-mails, even after they clock out. Gone are the days of a 40 hour workweek. Maybe they need to step up enforcement of overtime laws. If you have to respond to client e-mails and phone calls after work, then you should still be on the clock and get overtime.

No more family dinners, it's drive-thus for supper tonight.
--
I've experienced ImOn (when they were McLeod USA), Mediacom, Comcast, and Time Warner and I currently have DirecTV. They are much better than broadcast TV.

I have not and will not cut the cord.

Millenium

join:2013-10-30
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
Lets take our VCR sample and compare it to what Aereo is trying to argue:

I'm not selling the show. I'm just selling my time, use of my equipment and the video tape itself when I sell 10 million tapes with American Idol on it. Has nothing to do with the show, your Honor. That part is free.

How Aereo has made it through any court baffles me. More power to them, but I'm still baffled.

Skippy25

join:2000-09-13
Hazelwood, MO
reply to Millenium
They are not selling the signal.

They are leasing the hardware that allows you to receive the signal (antenna) along with DVR service to time shift it.

This would be no different then if I rented an antenna that someone put on my roof and connected it to a DVR that I also rent from them because I didn't want to pay it all up front. The only issue is the length of the cable from the antenna to the DVR and from the DVR to my TV.

Skippy25

join:2000-09-13
Hazelwood, MO
reply to Millenium
Your baffled because you clearly have no clue of Aereo or even your own example.

Get a clue and then come back and try again.

Millenium

join:2013-10-30
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable

2 edits
said by Skippy25:

Get a clue and then come back and try again.

Oh, I understand. Aereo is arguing they aren't selling broadcaster content, just their hardware and service.

Let them encode, DVR, and transmit 1.5Ghz (GPS Signal). See how many people sign up. Because, hey, it's not the tv network's copyrighted material they are selling.

ptbarnett

join:2002-09-30
Lewisville, TX
reply to smcallah
said by smcallah:

Are you not understanding Aereo's business model? If you sign up, there is a micro-antenna dedicated to YOU and only you.

A clarification: Aereo has explained there is reuse among the micro antennas. If you, as a user, are not either recording a broadcast signal or viewing a live signal, you don't have an antenna assigned to you at that moment. So, they only need enough antennas to handle the peak utilization.

It will be interesting to see if this becomes an factor in the court's decision.


David
I start new work on
Premium,VIP
join:2002-05-30
Granite City, IL
kudos:101
reply to IowaCowboy
I am guessing they might have won if they sold the equipment to do it outright and the service fees paid for say premium technical support. Courts would have probably saw it differently if they just went to selling hardware with instructions only.


PlusOne

@comcast.net
reply to Millenium
said by Millenium:

What no one can do legally is put up an antenna and then turn around and sell the broadcaster's signal to others, which is what Aereo is doing.

Aereo argues they are selling the antenna, digitizing, compression, and DVR service - not the underlying signal

The broadcasters argue it's their signal Aereo is capturing, digitizing, compressing, distributing, and selling. They would argue it should be entirely within their discretion to deny the service or charge a fee to Aereo.

The two are arguably inseparable. It'll be interesting to see how the Supreme Court rules on this.

+1. All that technical excuse about renting an antenna is BS.

MyDogHsFleas
Premium
join:2007-08-15
Austin, TX
kudos:5
reply to slow_move
If Aereo actually was a shared antenna, and they didn't modify, store, and retransmit the streams, it would be legal. In fact this is how cable TV started long ago, as "CATV" or Community Access TV. But, Aereo does not do that.

"we are free to capture the signal from the airwaves and use it without paying" -- not exactly. You can use it for personal use: view it, place shift or time shift it via SlingBox or recorder. But the work is still copyrighted, you don't own it.

You can't record it and then start a business selling those recordings (either as physical media or streaming over the net). That is a "public performance of a copyrighted work" and you will be sued and put out of business, most likely. You can't even post them to a sharing site for free, although you're much harder to catch in that case.

This is exactly where the court dispute lies. Has Aereo done enough to qualify their offering as a private performance?

"the networks should be happy they can charge a lot for commercials"... well, clearly they are not happy since they're suing Aereo. Their business model is ad revenue PLUS retrans fees, they don't want to miss half of that model.

MyDogHsFleas
Premium
join:2007-08-15
Austin, TX
kudos:5
reply to ke4pym
That's irrelevant to this case because Aereo is not paying retrans fees and not giving the broadcasters the opportunity to choose must-carry vs. retrans fee. The must-carry rules apply only to situations where a retrans fee would otherwise be paid. Aereo is just taking the signal.

MyDogHsFleas
Premium
join:2007-08-15
Austin, TX
kudos:5
reply to Skippy25
The difference is, renting an antenna and a DVR and a long cable IS perfectly OK. It's yours and yours alone. If this is actually what Aereo was doing, they'd be fine. But it's not. The devil is in the details.

They have a shared antenna farm, which they dynamically allocate to users as they request streams. They have a shared datacenter, which recodes and stores the streams on shared hard drives, for later additional processing and streaming over a shared network connection to the Internet.

The differences between the two are:
a) the infrastructure between you and the broadcaster is not owned or rented by you exclusively, it's shared across the subscriber base. They do some fig-leaf type things like only pull one signal from one antenna at a time for one user, but it's a massively shared infrastructure.
b) they record and store the streams, they don't just pass them through.

Aereo is trying to piggyback on two things at once: OTA broadcasts which are free to receive, and the Cablevision cloud DVR case that allowed a fees-paying service to remotely record and playback streams for its customers. It's not at all cut and dried that these two things, while separately legal, are still legal when conjoined.

The judge in this case rightly points out this huge distinction between CableVision and Aereo's cases: CableVision already had licensed the streams for its users, while Aereo has not.


pigpen

@rr.com
reply to slow_move
i'm no expert about the law, but i love what Aereo is doing. They are giving a great option to the folks who no longer want to pay for cable service, but want to see the major networks w/o installing antennas. Keep going Aereo.

Mahalo!


BlueMagic

join:2008-03-30
Riverside, IL
reply to slow_move
I concur. I have wanted to say, "I concur" since the days of Dr. Kildare and Ben Casey.