Antenna Company Threatens Traditional Broadcast Rights and Revenue.

By Contributor Roger M. Groves, Professor of Law and Director of the Business Law Program at Florida Coastal School of Law.

A small startup company, Aereo, provides a method of streaming broadcast TV through a browser. It provides a DVR in a cloud storage system by micro-version TV antennas, thereby rebroadcasting programming content found in the public airwaves.  Aero has recently been sued by a contingent of broadcasters, including Fox, Univision, and PBS and a majority of the media outlets in New York City. The claim is that Aereo infringes of their copyrights. The broadcasters seek an injunction to immediately stop Aereo’s activities and attendant monetary damages.

The economic crux of the dispute is that Aereo provides this service for only $12 a month. This allegedly threatens the substantial license fees and advertising revenue the broadcasters generate from cable companies.  To view the complaint in this case see the link: http://docs.justia.com/cases/federal/district-courts/new-york/nysdce/1:2012cv01540/392820/1/