Apple, Aereo Beat ABC TV: Broadcasters Plan Appeal (full complaints here)

Written by Larry Press

As we knew would happen, broadcasters sued Aereo almost as soon as it released its local, broadcast TV service to test users in New York City. The service lets viewers watch local TV on such Apple iOS devices as the Apple iPad and the Apple iPhone.

On July 11, 2012 a court in NY ruled in Aereo’s favor, denying a requested preliminary injunction on its tech. It is allowing Aereo’s antenna tech to keep serving up broadcast TV on mobile devices. And today broadcasters say they’re fighting back — and planning an appeal. Allowing New Yorkers to bypass TV — cutting the cord and enabling them to bypass local and live broadcasts and instead watch them on demand via iOS is not that appealing to old school broadcasters.

It’s obvious why.

Here’s the full text of the preliminary injunction broadcasters were seeking in court against Aereo. DENIED.

Aereo Ruling: Preliminary injunction denied
In the ruling dated July 11, 2012 — embedded above — the judge wrote in the opening statement denying ABC and other media plaintiffs’ demand for an injunction preventing further distribution:

Plaintiffs, a group of corporate entities engaged in the production, marketing,
distribution, and transmission of broadcast television programs, move to enjoin Defendant
AEREO, Inc., (“Aereo”) from engaging in those aspects of its service that allow its users to
access “live” copyrighted content over the internet. Aereo claims that its conduct does not
violate copyright law, relying on Cartoon Network LP, LLLP v. CSC Holdings, Inc., 536 F.3d
121 (2d Cir. 2008) (“Cablevision”). But for Cablevision’s express holding regarding the
meaning of the provision of the Copyright Act in issue here-the transmit clause-Plaintiffs
would likely prevail on their request for a preliminary injunction. However, in light of that
decision, this Court concludes that it is bound to deny Plaintiffs’ request.

Here is the original complaint as filed by ABC Broadcasting Networks (including such huge ABC local affiliates at WABC, the No. 1 local station or close in the United States) and a well-heeled local broadcasters and supporters.

ABC v Aereo Complaint

Watch this spot for analysis on why and how Aereo argued this — think it has something to do with that antennae that enables the tech? If you’re a test user in New York, we’d love to hear from you. Getting broadcast in New York City — or in San Francisco for that matter — is tough. There are tall building and, in SF anyway, actual mountains in the City.

For, I’m Larry Press. I’ll be updating you as this story develops. Click on my name in the author field to see my continuing coverage going way back to the Aereo-Diller press announcement in March 2012.

Pictured below, Barry Diller, majority owner of Aereo.

Photo Credit: Wikipmedia Commons

Disclosure: Two team members — Gina Smith and Dan Patterson — of are former employees of ABC News. They have severed ties and do not profit from this coverage in this opinion column by contributor Larry Press. -GS

1 Comment

  • […] A New York  judge ruled against ABC TV and other media outlets who were trying to stop Aereo, recently launched in beta in New York City, from doing business. The media outlets are appealing, but I’ve got to tell you. I’m rooting for Aereo, the Barry Diller backed startup with antenna array tech that will make it easier than ever to cut the cord. […]