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Aereo Getting Court Approval, Expanding

2 Oct, 2013 By: Doug McPherson

LONG ISLAND CITY, N.Y. – Despite facing court battles, the streaming video service Aereo, announced it plans to add service to four new cities – Columbus, Ohio; Cincinnati; Indianapolis; and San Antonio. The company already operates in New York, Boston, Atlanta, Salt Lake City, Miami, Houston and Dallas. And it has said it will add service in several other cities across the country.

Aereo streams over-the-air TV programs to smartphones and other mobile devices. The services also allow people to record shows for later viewing.

While digital rights groups have hailed the service as innovative and consumer-friendly, TV networks are much less welcoming. Broadcasters accuse Aereo of violating copyright law by transmitting programs without licenses.

Aereo has said its services are legal based on design, which relies on thousands of small antennas to capture free over-the-air programs and stream them to users.

Insiders say Aereo is close to winning a lawsuit in New York, where the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that the service can continue to operate. While that ruling is only preliminary (there hasn’t yet been a full trial in the case) the court’s opinion left no doubt that a majority of judges believe the service is legal.

Aereo also looks likely to prevail in Boston, where U.S. District Court Judge Nathaniel Gorton said recently at a hearing that he’s inclined to allow Aereo to continue operating.

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