Now it really doesn’t look like the streaming service will get to grill the CBS Corp boss. Less than a week after broadcasters petitioned the Supreme Court over Aereo, a NY-based federal judge today denied the Barry Diller-backed company’s second attempt at winning permission to depose Les Moonves. Aereo wanted restrictions that Magistrate Judge Henry Pitman put on the scope of its discovery in the 18-month-old copyright infringement case lifted, including access to a wide range of documents. It also wants to park the rarely reticent Moonves in front of its lawyers because he “has made public statements regarding the claims in this case, including comments that contradict sworn CBS testimony,” according to its filing earlier this year. Reaffirming Pitman’s ruling of June 4, District Judge Alison Nathan today said no way. “Nothing in the record suggests that the rulings were clearly erroneous or contrary to law, or that the substantial deference due to the resolution of discovery disputes by a magistrate judge should not be accorded in the instant matter,” she said in her order (read it here). Moonves has been very open about his views on the service since it first launched in early 2012. Calling Aereo “illegal,” he said in April “we will go after them in the courts and if that doesn’t work there are other remedies. There are financial remedies; there are congressional remedies.” In May, Moonves said that CBS and other broadcaster would follow Aereo and “we’ll sue them again” in new jurisdictions. In April, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals said Nathan was right last year to refuse broadcasters an injunction against the controversial service that streams broadcasters’ over-the-air signals to its subscribers. As Aereo has expanded across the country, broadcasters have gone after it in courts out West, in Boston and most recently in Utah.
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