June 27 Congressional Briefing on the U.S. Supreme Court's Aereo Decision

By Renee Dopplick, ACM Director of Public Policy
June 26, 2014

Tomorrow, the Congressional Internet Caucus Advisory Committee will hold a lunch briefing responsive to yesterday’s U.S. Supreme Court decision in American Broadcasting Cos. v. Aereo, Inc.. The event is open to the public. Advance registration is requested.

You can submit questions in advance or during the event by tweeting your questions with the hashtag #ICACAereo.

“What Does Aereo’s Supreme Court Death Sentence Mean for Internet Startups, Copyright & Communications Act Legislation, and the Viewing Habits of Cord-Cutting Congressional Staff?”
Friday, June 27, 2014
12:00 pm – 1:15 pm. Check-in starts at 11:40 am.
Rayburn House Office Building, Room 2237
Box lunch will be served. This is a widely attended event.
Register: http://www.eventbrite.com/o/tim-lordan-4772290819?s=26349807

Description:

Aereo is a $100 million unique Internet startup service that streams live local TV broadcasts to users over the Internet for a fee. Utilizing user-dedicated tiny antennas Aereo grabs the broadcast TV stream at the user’s request and streams the video to that user. While the design of Aereo’s novel and “technologically complex service” struck many as specifically architected to comply with existing U.S. copyright and communications laws, the Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday that it did not. The decision likely spells the end of Aereo the startup.

Opponents of Aereo’s service argued in court that it violates copyright laws, as Aereo doesn’t pay licensing fees. Others said if Aereo had won, the precedent would have mortally wounded the free broadcast TV business, forcing broadcasters to move to a pay-TV model.

While those folks are now applauding the decision as the correct result many technologists and startups entrepreneurs are finding the Court’s decision disquieting. Some legal scholars are calling the decision confusing, baffling and a threat to innovation. In fact the Chairs of the House Judiciary and Commerce Committees respectively pointed to the decision as evidence of the need for Congress to review copyright and communications law.