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Aereo Files Papers to Resume Service

20 Aug, 2014 By: Doug McPherson

NEW YORK – You can call Aereo a lot of things but “quitters” wouldn’t be one of them.

The long-suffering streaming video service is continuing with its argument that it should be allowed to resume operations on the grounds that it’s now a cable system and may transmit TV programs as long as it pays licensing fees.

On Friday, Aereo filed papers with the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals that read, in part: “The Supreme Court’s holding that Aereo’s live (‘Watch Now’) functionality is indistinguishable from a cable system under the Copyright Act also means that Aereo is eligible for a compulsory license. The broadcasters cannot rely on one part of the Supreme Court’s holding while ignoring its logical and necessary corollary.”

The filing is in response to a motion by broadcasters for “summary affirmance” of U.S. District Court Judge Dale Kimball’s order enjoining Aereo from operating in six states: Utah, Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Wyoming and Oklahoma. Kimball issued that order in February, four months before the U.S. Supreme Court said that Aereo’s system infringed copyright by transmitting programs without a license.

Kimball was the only judge to rule against Aereo until June, when the dispute reached the Supreme Court.

Analysts say it’s not clear that other judges will agree that Aereo is a cable system. In New York, a federal appellate court ruled several years ago that ivi TV, which also streamed programs online, was not entitled to the same rights as cable companies. But the judges noted in that case that ivi TV could stream programs nationwide. Aereo only streamed shows to users who were within one of its markets.

Aereo also is asking the 10th Circuit to allow the company to resume offering DVR services. The Supreme Court didn’t address whether Aereo’s cloud-based DVR service infringed copyright.

On Monday, the 10th Circuit told broadcasters to file their next round of papers by Sept. 10.

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