Talk about hitting a guy when he’s down and already almost out Less than two months after achieving victory over Aereo at the Supreme Court, ABC, CBS, NBC, Univision and Telemundo now want a federal judge to slap what they see as a long overdue nationwide and wide ranging preliminary injunction against the presently self suspended steaming service. “Consistent with the Supreme Court’s opinion and mandate.. Aereo must be enjoined from streaming, transmitting, retransmitting, or otherwise publicly performing any of Plaintiffs’ programming over the Internet (through websites such as aereo.com), or by means of any device or process,” said the memorandum filed in U.S. District Court on August 15 (read it here) This court had previously rejected the broadcasters’ request for such an injunction back in July 2012. Even with all its other legal battles against the growing Aereo in other jurisdictions, it was this case and its April 2013 affirmation by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals that was the basis of the broadcasters successfully petition on October 11 last year to the High Court.
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Not at all unexpected, the 17-page filing late last week comes after the SCOTUS ruled on June 25 that the Barry Diller–backed company violated copyright when it streamed their transmissions without permission or licenses. CEO Chet Kanojia announced three days later that Aereo was suspending service to subscribers. Any hope of trying to get itself classified as a cable company was dashed by rejection from the Copyright Office on July 17. Earlier this month, U.S. District Court Judge Alison Nathan tossed an emergency motion by the company to be classified as a cable company. At the time, Kanjoa said that Aereo “simply will not be able to survive” without such a speedy reclassification.
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Having started in NYC over two years go and expanded to Boston, Atlanta, Detroit, Cincinnati, Baltimore, Dallas, Austin, Houston, Miami, and San Antonio, Aereo had 77,596 subscribers by the end of 2013, according to a recent filing with the Copyright Office. Those customers paid $8 per month get 20 hours of DVR storage each month and access to one antenna. If you paid $12 a month, you got 60 hours DVR storage of programming and access to two antennas. Of course at this point, you get nothing because there is nothing coming from Aereo – and if the broadcasters likely get their way, there will be nothing at all soon enough.
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