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US Supreme Court rules against online TV startup Aereo

Published on Jun 26, 2014 6:46 AM
 
A startup which captures over-the-air television for Internet viewing violates copyright laws, the US Supreme Court said on Wednesday in a landmark ruling affecting the tech and TV industries. -- PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON (AFP) - A startup which captures over-the-air television for Internet viewing violates copyright laws, the US Supreme Court said on Wednesday in a landmark ruling affecting the tech and TV industries.

The court ruled 6-3 that Aereo illegally retransmits broadcast signals, dismissing claims that its tiny personalised antennas merely allow customers to watch or record what would be free TV programs.

Some major tech groups had argued for Aereo, saying its innovative technology opened up more choice for consumers, while the television industry maintained the service was simply theft of its programmes.

Justice Stephen Breyer wrote in the majority opinion that Aereo effectively operates like a cable company and must therefore pay for broadcast rights.

 
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