Internet TV streaming company Aereo is shutting down, at least temporarily, following a U.S. Supreme Court ruling saying it has been violating copyright laws. Several networks filed a lawsuit against the company claiming their content was being stolen and rebroadcast without permission and ultimately the Supreme Court agreed.
Aereo shuts down following Supreme Court ruling against it
Aereo's paid service essentially rented a TV antenna to subscribers who could then stream whatever over the air shows it received to their computer. The antennas were all located in Aereo's own facility, and from the company's perspective, it was simply giving customers a new way to receive the content they already had access to by connecting an antenna directly to their television.
Now that their business is in jeopardy, Aereo has decided to close its doors for the time being. "We have decided to pause our operations temporarily as we consult with the court and map out our next steps," CEO Chet Kanojia said in a letter on the company's website. "All of our users will be refunded their last paid month."
The spectrum that the broadcasters use to transmit over the air programming belongs to the American public and we believe you should have a right to access that live programming whether your antenna sits on the roof of your home, on top of your television or in the cloud.
The future may not look bright for Aereo, but the company is still fighting to gain support for its business model through a grass roots effort called Protect My Antenna. The campaign claims broadcasters want to limit viewers to using rooftop or rabbit ears antennas, while they are pushing for more modern technology including remote antennas and cloud-based DVR systems.
With a Supreme Court ruling against it and the big networks pushing to keep companies from offering Aereo-like services, it doesn't seem likely the company will open its doors again any time soon -- at least not in its current form.