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Feds Now Oppose Aereo, Rejecting Cloud Apocalypse Argument

Soulskill posted about 9 months ago | from the maybe-cut-back-on-the-hyperbole-next-time dept.

Cloud 140

v3rgEz writes "TV streaming service Aereo expected broadcasters would put up a fight. The startup may not have seen the Justice Department as a threat, however. The Justice Department has now weighed in, saying in a filing that it's siding with major broadcasters who accuse Aereo of stealing TV content. In its filing, the Justice Department noted it doesn't believe a win for broadcasters would dismantle the precedent that created the cloud computing industry, as Aereo has previously claimed. The case is expected to go before the Supreme Court in late April."

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... and nothing of value was lost [nt] (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46402823)

[nt]

Re:... and nothing of value was lost [nt] (1, Insightful)

ackthpt (218170) | about 9 months ago | (#46402915)

As I have watched about 1 hour of TV over the past 10 years, I'm non-plussed. I have always felt the broadcasters were allowed to run roughshod over the public, with plenty of help from the federal government. It's a new century, can we start looking beyond 20th century business models, yet?

Re:... and nothing of value was lost [nt] (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46403015)

Sorry. XKCD [xkcd.com]

Re:... and nothing of value was lost [nt] (0)

ackthpt (218170) | about 9 months ago | (#46403091)

Oh, I own one, I just can't be bothered to turn it on and watch anything on it.

There's much more entertaining and mentally stimulating content on the interwebs [youtube.com] , anyway.

Re:... and nothing of value was lost [nt] (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46403123)

That's idiotic. Of course I'm not going to be proud to still cling to some ancient 1950s form of entertainment.

Re:... and nothing of value was lost [nt] (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46403283)

you are so 2000 and late

Re:... and nothing of value was lost [nt] (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46403347)

And you're so retro-hip.

Re:... and nothing of value was lost [nt] (4, Insightful)

Kohath (38547) | about 9 months ago | (#46403099)

Re:... and nothing of value was lost [nt] (1)

mythosaz (572040) | about 9 months ago | (#46403823)

Shit. Beaten out by refresh!

Re:... and nothing of value was lost [nt] (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46404275)

Well, if you people would stop talking about TV and the shit you watch, you wouldn't hear anyone tell you that they don't watch TV.

Re:... and nothing of value was lost [nt] (1)

ackthpt (218170) | about 9 months ago | (#46404391)

Well, if you people would stop talking about TV and the shit you watch, you wouldn't hear anyone tell you that they don't watch TV.

That's about the size of it. Where I work most people watch a few shows and avidly follow one or two. The subject of shows or even commercials they have found entertaining pop up occasionally and I just gently remind them I don't watch TV. I just haven't been interested and watching most shows I find a trying experience.

Re:... and nothing of value was lost [nt] (0)

mythosaz (572040) | about 9 months ago | (#46403775)

CHAPEL HILL, NC–Area resident Jonathan Green does not own a television, a fact he repeatedly points out to friends, family, and coworkers–as well as to his mailman, neighborhood convenience-store clerks, and the man who cleans the hallways in his apartment building.

Jonathan Green, who tells as many people as possible that he is "fully weaned off the glass teat."

"I, personally, would rather spend my time doing something useful than watch television," Green told a random woman Monday at the Suds 'N' Duds Laundromat, noticing the establishment's wall-mounted TV. "I don't even own one."

According to Melinda Elkins, a coworker of Green's at The Frame Job, a Chapel Hill picture-frame shop, Green steers the conversation toward television whenever possible, just so he can mention not owning one.

"A few days ago, [store manager] Annette [Haig] was saying her new contacts were bothering her," Elkins said. "The second she said that, I knew Jonathan would pounce. He was like, 'I didn't know you had contacts, Annette. Are your eyes bad? That a shame. I'm really lucky to have almost perfect vision. I'm guessing it's because I don't watch TV. In fact, I don't even own one."

According to Elkins, "idiot box" is Green's favorite derogatory term for television.

"He uses that one a lot," she said. "But he's got other ones, too, like 'boob tube' and 'electronic babysitter.'"

Elkins said Green always makes sure to read the copies of Entertainment Weekly and People lying around the shop's break room, "just so he can point out all the stars and shows he's never heard of."

"Last week, in one of the magazines, there was a picture of Calista Flockhart," Elkins said, "and Jonathan announced, 'I have absolutely no idea who this woman is. Calista who? Am I supposed to have heard of her? I'm sorry, but I haven't.'"

Tony Gerela, who lives in the apartment directly below Green's and occasionally chats with the 37-year-old by the mailboxes, is well aware of his neighbor's disdain for television.

"About a week after I met him, we were talking, and I made some kind of Simpsons reference," Gerela said. "He asked me what I was talking about, and when I told him it was from a TV show, he just went off, saying how the last show he watched was some episode of Cheers, and even then, he could only watch for about two minutes before having to shut it off because it insulted his intelligence so terribly."

Added Gerela: "Once, I made the mistake of saying I saw something on the news, and he started in with, 'Saw the news? I don't know about you, but I read the news."

Green has lived without television since 1989, when his then-girlfriend moved out and took her set with her.

"When Claudia went, the TV went with her," Green said. "But instead of just going out and buying another one–which I certainly could have afforded, that wasn't the issue–I decided to stand up to the glass teat."

"I'm not an elitist," Green said. "It's just that I'd much rather sculpt or write in my journal or read Proust than sit there passively staring at some phosphorescent screen."

"If I need a fix of passive audio-visual stimulation, I'll go to catch a Bergman or Truffaut film down at the university," Green said. "I certainly wouldn't waste my time watching the so-called Learning Channel or, God forbid, any of the mind sewage the major networks pump out."

Continued Green: "People don't realize just how much time their TV-watching habit–or, shall I say, addiction–eats up. Four hours of television a day, over the course of a month, adds up to 120 hours. That's five entire days! Why not spend that time living your own life, instead of watching fictional people live theirs? I can't begin to tell you how happy I am not to own a television."

http://www.theonion.com/articl... [theonion.com]

Re:... and nothing of value was lost [nt] (4, Insightful)

hairyfeet (841228) | about 9 months ago | (#46403901)

Working at the shop I talk to a LOT of college aged kids, know what I've found? Frankly TV is The Lawrence Welk Show, something old folks liked that the kids honestly don't understand and don't want. They are used to having the net and "shows by appointment" is just something they really "don't get" and if they can't watch a show on THEIR schedule? Then they just don't care, they really don't.

Honestly the only young folks I found with TVs were the really poor, those without net use TV as a form of cheap entertainment. Even my fiance who swore "I'm not gonna be able to stand going without TV" when she moved in has been TV free for almost a year and the USB cap card I gave her for her lappy sits unused. Once I showed her the wealth of instant entertainment? She never went back.

So the broadcasters can bribe the government all they want, like the *.A.A they can't change the fact that their model has gone the way of the 8-track. The future is crowd funding and instant gratification, the days of "tune in, same bat time, same bat channel" as as dated as Adam West's Batman.

Re:... and nothing of value was lost [nt] (1)

dryeo (100693) | about 9 months ago | (#46404231)

It largely depends on choices. I live where internet is dial up only at 26.4KBs (no cell service either) and especially for the wife when the last couple of TV stations went digital and therefore no longer receivable it was quite the bummer.
The 8 track was replaced by something as easy to acquire and the same cost while being an improvement. TV has disappeared for many on the fringes and only has a decent replacement for some and is much more expensive. One time cost for a TV ($10 at the thrift store) plus one time cost for antenna (big used one was $50) while internet is a recurring cost.

Re:... and nothing of value was lost [nt] (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | about 9 months ago | (#46404507)

One time cost for a TV ($10 at the thrift store) plus one time cost for antenna (big used one was $50)

Those still work, if you add the one time cost for a digital-to-analog converter box ($40, or $0 back when they had the vouchers). Contrary to popular belief, there's not anything special about digital TV as far as antennas are concerned, except that fewer channels are on VHF.

Re:... and nothing of value was lost [nt] (1)

dryeo (100693) | about 9 months ago | (#46404889)

Digital really doesn't carry as far as analog, at least in mountainous terrain, especially now that there are no low band VHF channels. Bought a converter when the switch happened, tested and returned it. Tried again when the last VHF repeater went off the air and same thing. (before we didn't realize there was a repeater in the opposite direction)

Re:... and nothing of value was lost [nt] (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46404837)

Can't you get satellite internet or something? I know pings will be high, but that shouldn't affect something like streaming video.

Re:... and nothing of value was lost [nt] (1)

dryeo (100693) | about 9 months ago | (#46404897)

Trees and mountains block the satellites currently

Re:... and nothing of value was lost [nt] (1)

speedlaw (878924) | about 9 months ago | (#46404427)

I have kids this age....he's +1000000. "tv" does not exist for them other than as a bigger screen hanging on a wall. 95% of the time they use it is for streaming anyway

Definition of Nonplussed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46404261)

It means: "surprised and confused so much that they are unsure how to react"

It does NOT mean the opposite of that!

Just Sad (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46402829)

My 6 year old is sad we can't record broadcast TV through aereo anymore (living in the Utah/Denver area where it got shut down). When you're paying for aereo, you are mainly paying for a tv guide service, $8/month. In our case we had already been watching only broadcast TV for a year and wanted a nice DVR service without paying for TiVO antenna DVR which was overpriced... $15/month for tv guide service.

Anyone know how to build a small MythTV box? Main consideration is TV/Antenna card in a small form factor - set top box.

Re:Just Sad (2)

quitte (1098453) | about 9 months ago | (#46402941)

You might want to look into vdr instead. It's not as flashy but it was very stable years ago. In my opinion it's as a DVR should be.

Re:Just Sad (4, Informative)

unitron (5733) | about 9 months ago | (#46402985)

A Series 3 platform TiVo would let you record digital OTA for $12.95 per month maxium, but that figure is for the entire TiVo service which includes a license to use the software as well as the guide info, and they've always sold the hardware cheap with the idea of making up the loss on selling the service.

In fact, you can probably pick up a used S3 or S3 HD or HD XL with Product Lifetime Service for $300 or less (check area Craigslists), then another $100 for a 2TB WD20EURS to slip into it and $10 -$15 for Low ESR 105 degree rated capacitors to replace the ones in the power supply pro-actively, and the only monthly cost will be the electricity.

Lurk at tivocommunity.com for a while.

You'll also find discussion of Myth and WMC there as well.

When you're paying for Aereo, you're paying as much as anything to have somebody else worry about providing you with an outdoor antenna.

Re:Just Sad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46403849)

I live out of line of sight for one of the major antenna towers in my city, so I can't watch local over the air even putting an antenna in my attic. I wouldn't mind paying someone to put an antenna in a place that gets signal for me.

Re:Just Sad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46404995)

As an Aereo user, that's exactly what I'm paying for. I live at the edge of my broadcast area and I rent, so I can't install a serious outdoor antenna and a change in the weather means a 20 minute break to randomly adjust the antenna to stop the freezing (I actually preferred analog broadcast: a 70% quality signal was a lot nicer than a video that freezes 18 seconds out of every minute...).

Re:Just Sad (2)

jonwil (467024) | about 9 months ago | (#46405393)

Thats the whole reason the networks are fighting Aereo so much, everyone who uses Aereo to get OTA TV is (as far as they are concerned) one less person paying Comcast or Time Warner or whoever else for that same TV. And therefore its one less person paying x amount per month (via their cable provider) to the networks. (i.e. Aereo = lost revenue)

Re:Just Sad (1)

scottbomb (1290580) | about 9 months ago | (#46403667)

Install a TV tuner card and record it yourself. Media Center is the main reason I have a Windows 7 machine in the house, for this very purpose. Set it to record whatever you want and it works.

Re:Just Sad (1)

mythosaz (572040) | about 9 months ago | (#46403807)

Windows Media Center's primary benefit is a high Wife Acceptance Factor. It's polished well, and that goes a long way.

If you want OTA and WMC, I suggest some Hauppauge cards -- enough to satisfy your need to record multiple channels at once during sweeps without conflicts. Perhaps: http://www.hauppauge.com/site/... [hauppauge.com]

Re:Just Sad (1)

jedidiah (1196) | about 9 months ago | (#46403873)

High WAF with my MythTV solution yielded carte blanche on my computer purchases. She actually told me to "go get a Mac" to replace my original cobbled together frontend box.

We were a Tivo household before that. So it's not like there were low expectations.

However, the main challenge with OTA is the ANTENNA. That is the trickiest part by far and the one that frustrates so many people into using cable or Aereo.

Re:Just Sad (1)

vivek7006 (585218) | about 9 months ago | (#46403885)

Windows 7 Media Center rocks. Highly recommended. Plus it supports premium cable via cable card. Comcastic douche in my area even give a $2 refund for not using their crappy STB. The only thing I lose is VOD, but I don't give a shit since Netflix and Amazon Prime via Roku is 10 times better than their comcastic service

Re:Just Sad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46403699)

My setup is a myth box with a first gen HD HomeRun Dual pulling down ATSC on both inputs. All I pay is $20/year for listing data. Pretty easy to put together with a bit of hardware and Mythbuntu.

HDHR negates the need for the tuner card IN the box and puts it at the other end of a network cable.

Re:Just Sad (1)

msauve (701917) | about 9 months ago | (#46404131)

Aereo simply picks up signals from the public airwaves. There's nothing that's more "public domain" than something so placed into, well, the public domain.

ANYTHING which has ever been broadcast should have lost copyright - that the price for building your business on public resources.

Those with the money (2)

nurb432 (527695) | about 9 months ago | (#46402835)

Get to make the rules. Yet another example.

Re:Those with the money (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46402843)

Aereo is a public performance of copyrighted material. You cannot do that. You will get slapped.

Re:Those with the money (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46402881)

The ruling will be simple. You lose control of the distribution of your content the second it's broadcast over public airwaves (or multicast over the internet). You are casting it into the wind.

Re:Those with the money (0)

Ralph Wiggam (22354) | about 9 months ago | (#46402983)

Your basic grasp of 80 year old copyright law has no place here. Please get on board with the "Big Evil Government hates innovation" party line. Thank you for your cooperation.

Re:Those with the money (4, Insightful)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about 9 months ago | (#46403033)

80 year old WHAT?

what could any 80 year old law possibly have to do with modern nuances of virtual, cloud, broadcast (in modern times), store-and-forward, proxy, repeat, bridge and route?

those didn't exist at all (in any real sense) 80 yrs ago.

besides, you can't have it both ways: copyright was supposed to expire in a 'normal' period of time, but we kept changing things as things were about to expire, so that public property would not be public YET. if the government won't respect its own laws, why should we?

anyway, copyright is not the same thing it once was, and broadcasting over the air is a trade: you get to use airwaves and you get funding from (lots of places). you have been funded and you chose to transmit data in the clear. what happens after that is NOT your business. it stopped being 'yours' once it hit the public non-encrypted airwaves.

Re:Those with the money (2)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about 9 months ago | (#46403213)

A normal period of time would be 13 years. With one renewal for the human who wrote it, or his survivors if he died during the first copyright period.

Like it was originally.

Re:Those with the money (1)

JoeMerchant (803320) | about 9 months ago | (#46403285)

There are quite a few laws older than 80 years with a lot of relevance today, starting with the Bill of Rights.

However, if being in public means anyone is free to follow and video me and my activities, then sell this information for a profit (traffic cams, private investigators, etc.) - I see how repeating broadcast television on the internet, without or even with time-shift delays, should also be free for anyone to undertake as a business.

There will be higher bidders in the courtroom than the individual liberties supporters, copyright will prevail, and Mickey Mouse will not be public domain until well after children as yet unborn are 75 years old.

Re:Those with the money (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 9 months ago | (#46403889)

"However, if being in public means anyone is free to follow and video me and my activities, then sell this information for a profit (traffic cams, private investigators, etc.) - I see how repeating broadcast television on the internet, without or even with time-shift delays, should also be free for anyone to undertake as a business."

Strictly speaking, no. While what one does in public is theoretically recordable by anybody, that doesn't mean they can use it for profit without your permission. That remains under your control. Legally, that is.

But you do bring up a good point. That would seem to conflict with things like traffic cameras, which are generally run by private firms, for a profit.

Not that I would mind seeing them get shot down. According to studies they seldom do any good, and often actually increase accident rates.

Re:Those with the money (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about 9 months ago | (#46403981)

that's not what I was talking about. you need to re-read what I posted. I didn't say no old laws ever apply; but ones that were that old and being applied to technology usually fail because communication is vastly different from how it was before, scales have changed, methods, what is publicly funded and what is supposed to be already funded (ie, no double dipping).

Re:Those with the money (1)

JoeMerchant (803320) | about 9 months ago | (#46404743)

You hit a trip wire with me, I went to a lawyer once asking about civil rights considerations for disabled children and the schools, the bastard sat there, lied to me about several factual points, and dismissed my concerns about the ADA, Free and Appropriate public education, etc. with the total gem "those laws are from the 1960s, does anyone do anything about those anymore?" Guy was a total tool, and drinking buddy with the bad side of the local school board.

Re:Those with the money (1)

Ralph Wiggam (22354) | about 9 months ago | (#46403389)

"Public performance" has the same definition it did 80 years ago. The ways that content can be delivered to the public has changed a lot, but it's all still public performance.

Besides I Love Lucy reruns, all of the content shown on TV has been copyrighted in the last few years. So I'm not sure where you were going with that paragraph.

Re:Those with the money (4, Insightful)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about 9 months ago | (#46404019)

I disagree.

what was a public broadcast back then is not even close to what is a 'broadcast' now.

and, add to this the notion of 'store and replay later'. you could not DO that back then unless you were a recording studio. today, everyone is a 'recording studio' in terms of being able to save digital content and play it back later.

the # of people you could reach before was limited. now, the rules are all different and you don't have to have them all tuned in at the same freq, in the same area of the world at the same time.

add to this the fact that 'copyright' does not mean the same thing world wide and so when you send out content to the internet, not everyone is bound by US rules!

the world in tech is so different, its not sensible to apply what we considered 'content distribution' to today's world. too much is not applicable and some things we have today were not even conceived of back then.

laws should never be static. they need to be updated to fit the age. copyright was never updated in peoples' favor, only in corporations' favor. that, in itself, means that it was not maintained in a fair and just manner.

its not a public performance (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46403013)

its like saying my landlord is violating copyright if everyone in our apartment building hung out an antenna and saved a personal copy of the shows they wanted. the landlord owns the building they profit off of renting out space for us to watch TV in (isnt that what homes are for?) and they physically house copies of the data for their tenants to watch.

Re:its not a public performance (1)

mysidia (191772) | about 9 months ago | (#46403601)

its like saying my landlord is violating copyright if everyone in our apartment building hung out an antenna and saved a personal copy of the shows they wanted.

Your landlord hasn't hung out a single large PCB with everyone's antenna being a small button-sized module attached to it.

But I think the bigger problem for them is They dynamically assign antennas. It's not like you're renting a specific antenna.

Re:its not a public performance (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46404625)

OK how about this.

If I buy a DVR and antenna and put it on my roof am I in the right? - Yep
Ok, rent a DVR and antenna and put them on my roof? - I think we can both agree yes.
OK, rent a DVR and antenna, and whenever I want them they get mailed to me, I put them on my roof and when I am done I mail them back? NO guarantee I get the same antenna or DVR, but I think we still agree this is ok?

What if I rent a DVR and antenna, and rent some space at my neighbours house to store them. And run a long thick HDMI cable over the fence to plug the whole thing into my TV. Am I ok now??

OK; I get sick of the long cable I am running over the fence, and replace it with an ethernet cable, and use a PVR that has a web interface. - Still OK?

OK, I replace the ethernet cable with 2 wireless routers, both of which I am renting - still ok?

OK, so I get sick of using the wireless routers, and instead plug it into my neighbours internet connection, and use a point to point encrypted VPN link between my neighbours house and my house. Have I gone too far yet?

OK I got sick of maintaining the VPN link, and just put a password on it. Still good?

My neighbour sells his house to a DATACentre company and builds a datacentre on his plot of land, but dont worry cause I just ask them if I can keep renting that space and go back to my wireless routers solution. How am I going here?

OK, finally, I got sick of my wireless routers again, and once more plug into the datacentres internet connection. Is this legal?

Remember; every time I am done watching TV I ask the neighbour to return the antenna to the rental place. and when I want to watch it again he goes and picks one up from the rental place.

Which part of the above is where I started going wrong? When did what I do become a public performance?

Re:its not a public performance (1)

russotto (537200) | about 9 months ago | (#46404959)

But I think the bigger problem for them is They dynamically assign antennas. It's not like you're renting a specific antenna.

What difference does it make, as long as it's only one at a time? I rent one antenna for "The Real Housewives of New Jersey", and later I rent a different antenna for A Very Special Episode of "Law And Order: SVU"... exactly how does the changing of the antenna affect copyright?

Re:Those with the money (5, Insightful)

unitron (5733) | about 9 months ago | (#46403045)

Aereo is a public performance of copyrighted material. You cannot do that. You will get slapped.

A public performance?

You have every right to receive, for free, at no additional cost, any broadcast TV signal your antenna can bring in, and to record it on a DVR, and to have the DVR send it to the TV via Ethernet if you want to.

This is just subcontracting the antenna, DVR, and Ethernet part out to someone else.

Re:Those with the money (0)

Frosty Piss (770223) | about 9 months ago | (#46404099)

You have every right to receive, for free, at no additional cost, any broadcast TV signal your antenna can bring in, and to record it on a DVR, and to have the DVR send it to the TV via Ethernet if you want to.

Yes YOU do...

This is just subcontracting the antenna, DVR, and Ethernet part out to someone else.

And thus, it's not YOU.

At least, that's the argument.

Re:Those with the money (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46404213)

And that's the point. As law states, THIS, technically, isn't illegal. If, in the law with which this is being argued, /rebroadcasting' includes physical leased antennas, access to said antennas, and viewing of content from said antennas from a remote location, or subcontracting as parent stated, then Aereo is at fault. THAT scenario, IS NOT what rebroadcasting was termed under when that law was written.

This is another instance where technology has surpassed law. The cable monopolies don't like it when someone finds a present legal way around such obstacles. If ANY of what Aereo was doing was illegal, the FCC would have stomped them out long ago for not having a license!

Re:Those with the money (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46405049)

You are full of shit. It *is* what the law says. But you have to have your fucking "free as in beer". Grow up, and join the real world. Stallman has been sucking off of MIT's teat all his adult life, and is out of touch with reality. You are not Stallman. Fucking moron.

Fundamentals (1)

onix (990980) | about 9 months ago | (#46404589)

The reality is that cable would turn off all OTA if it could. It's not an issue of whether the content is public.

Re:Those with the money (1)

Vitriol+Angst (458300) | about 9 months ago | (#46404971)

Well I suppose in order for the Broadcasters to maintain the fiction of being broadcasters, they have to broadcast -- but they make money now with a subscription and commercials and syndication.

Having someone RECEIVE the signal and make it easy for you to get the programming -- well, that flies in the face of burying the broadcast signal in the basement, in a filing cabinet, with a sign posted "tiger might kill you."

And a Copyright is a Copy Legacy, to bequeathed to those with the blood of the line of Disney, or the house of Time Warner. Don't look for the barony of News Corp however, in 20 years they drop the pretense and just call themselves House Harkonnen and they will have the spice channel on exclusive contract.

Re:Those with the money (5, Informative)

Anubis IV (1279820) | about 9 months ago | (#46403247)

"Public" how, exactly? If I have an antenna on my roof and run that signal into my DVR where I then record a show and store it for private viewing, there's nothing illegal about that, right? If I live in an apartment complex and rent an antenna on the roof instead of owning it, but otherwise do everything the same, that's fine too, right? What if I rent the DVR from a third-party like TiVo? Still cool, right? What if I kept the DVR in a different room, far away from the TV? There's nothing illegal about renting an antenna or hiding equipment away in a closet far away from the TV (in fact, most of us prefer to do that already).

That's all that Aereo is, except that the A/V wire connecting the DVR to the TV stretches over the Internet. Each customer rents their own antenna that picks up broadcast signals that only that person can then watch. Their copy of the signal is kept for them, tied to their account, where only they can view it. And Aereo isn't even going against broadcast blackout regions or the like, since the antennas are local to the users. All they're doing is letting the user move the antenna and DVR to a far away equipment closet that the user then rents from them.

So, again I ask: how exactly is it "public"? Hell, how exactly is it any different than just renting a DVR and antenna that are installed at home? If it's that it's "in the cloud", I'm willing to bet that we'd agree that, while ridiculous, it would be perfectly legal to run the necessary A/V cables from Aereo's HQ to my home, so why would using the Internet magically make it illegal? The fact that I have to access it over the Internet doesn't magically make it public, illegal, or otherwise illicit.

Re:Those with the money (1)

lgw (121541) | about 9 months ago | (#46403883)

Well reasoned, but I think it misses a fundamental point.

It's the public's airways/bandwidth to begin with. Broadcast on the public airwaves should by law be a grant of rights to time/place/format shift however anyone feels like for unchanged content. In private, for a fee, public performance, shouldn't matter, as long as some company isn't replacing the ads or otherwise altering the content. That's what "OTA broadcast" should mean: anyone anywhere can now watch it.

Re:Those with the money (0)

PJC1 (301605) | about 9 months ago | (#46404601)

Although Aereo might simply be a remote antenna you pay another party to provide, keep in mind that cable companies are required to pay retransmission fees. How is Aereo's service different than cable? After all, if companies that provide traditional Community Antenna TeleVision service must pay, why shouldn't Aereo?

Re:Those with the money (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46404759)

The traditional distinction is that the cable company is receiving one copy of a show at its one antenna and relaying lots of copies (i.e. it makes and distributes lots of copies of someone else's copyrighted show).

Re:Those with the money (4, Insightful)

Anubis IV (1279820) | about 9 months ago | (#46404855)

Although Aereo might simply be a remote antenna you pay another party to provide, keep in mind that cable companies are required to pay retransmission fees. How is Aereo's service different than cable? After all, if companies that provide traditional Community Antenna TeleVision service must pay, why shouldn't Aereo?

Whenever you broadcast, each person picking up the signal is effectively receiving a copy of the content. The purpose of retransmission fees is to cover those copies. In contrast, Aereo is not making new copies; it's merely working with the copies that have already been produced and to which each of its users is already entitled. That's why it's so important that they have a 1:1 ratio between antennas, storage of content, and user accounts: it proves that each of those users is legally entitled to the copy that Aereo is receiving, storing, and unicasting to them. Were they doing something like having one antenna and allowing anyone to tune into it over the 'net, this would be an entirely different matter.

Re:Those with the money (1)

Rockoon (1252108) | about 9 months ago | (#46405019)

How is Aereo's service different than cable?

It effectively isn't ... and thats what the broadcasters are afraid of.

Re:Those with the money (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about 9 months ago | (#46403605)

It's a private performance, delayed.

Or are you asserting that placing your TV where someone on the street can see it is a illegal?

Re:Those with the money (1)

jedidiah (1196) | about 9 months ago | (#46403927)

> Aereo is a public performance of copyrighted material. You cannot do that. You will get slapped.

Aereo is the rental of an antenna. It's no more a public performance than the rental of a VCR.

This is already settled law despite the attempts of certain people to ensure that only large corporations have rights.

That's why they call it... (2)

swb (14022) | about 9 months ago | (#46403453)

The Golden Rule. Those with the gold get to make the rules.

In other news.. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46402857)

The same Justice Department officials will soon leave to work for the various broadcast networks.

Re:In other news.. (5, Insightful)

Desler (1608317) | about 9 months ago | (#46402887)

Many of them are already industry lawyers to begin with.

http://www.wired.com/threatlev... [wired.com]

Re:In other news.. (2)

unitron (5733) | about 9 months ago | (#46403069)

The same Justice Department officials will soon leave to work for the various broadcast networks.

Yeah, too bad there aren't some in there planning to go to work for the cable giants to act as a counterbalance to them.

Thank goodness for Obama (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46402867)

Thank goodness we've got the Obama administration to bring some common sense back to government and stand up for the little guy.

Re:Thank goodness for Obama (2)

fermion (181285) | about 9 months ago | (#46405077)

This is my thought. Now that the Obama administration opposes Aereo, we can expect all the conservatives, tea party people, Ted Cruz, to support it. Those of us who like Aereo are all but guaranteed a win!

Aereo... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46402893)

...seems destined to prevail on the merits (assuming the Justices *reach* the merits, which I hope they do).

    I'm not quite sure what team of lawyers came up with the "we don't think it will destroy cloud computing" line of reasoning, but I dissent in the strongest terms from those who invented that line, because it will do PRECISELY that.

    The idea isn't hard to follow, and I'm certain that one of my colleagues here will supply the relevant case cites. I've got rather a full civil rights plate at the moment. Let's start the ball game with, "cloud computing will be powerless to prevent having to carry advertising content," and go from there.

    It's a CF -- and a big one at that.

In my experience.... (1)

mark-t (151149) | about 9 months ago | (#46402917)

.... many networks will stream a good portion of the shows that they air, usually only a day or so after initial broadcast... and typically leave them available for about a week. There's commercials, of course, but it's really not that bad a way to watch television. I'm not sure what need Aero was really trying to fill.

Re:In my experience.... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46403061)

You obviously don't live in Manhattan (the first market they hit) where OTA coverage can be extremely spotty, don't want local programming while traveling for business, or to otherwise time/place shift your content. I doubt this is their endgame, but I get what they are trying to bring.

Re:In my experience.... (1)

alen (225700) | about 9 months ago | (#46403167)

doesn't time warner provide you with a free or some low cost box to decrypt the newly encrypted local feed?
used to be you could just plug the cable into your TV

Re:In my experience.... (1)

mark-t (151149) | about 9 months ago | (#46403501)

Who said anything about watching OTA? I was talking about watching stuff streamed from the network website. In my experience, most of the popular shows seem to be available a day or so after airing, which isn't really *THAT* big a deal... you just shift your tv watching schedule by one day.

Re:In my experience.... (1)

hondo77 (324058) | about 9 months ago | (#46403659)

With ABC, not so much [go.com] :

Verify your TV provider to watch ABC programming at no additional cost.*

* You must verify your participating TV provider account for access to certain WATCH ABC on demand features. It's included in your TV subscription services. Show and episode availability are subject to change.

Re:In my experience.... (1)

mark-t (151149) | about 9 months ago | (#46404407)

I get that too... but only for shows that are older than a week.

Re:In my experience.... (2)

Applehu Akbar (2968043) | about 9 months ago | (#46403065)

That would have been a great service model, which is why it couldn't possibly last. Fox TV, and now ABC, limit the free recent episodes to viewvers who can "verify" their cable service. In both cases, you can only "verify" if you have an account with a tiny list of services that are mostly unknowns. I get these stations through one of the nation's largest cable providers, but it's never in the select list. Torrents, here I come.

Re:In my experience.... (1)

alen (225700) | about 9 months ago | (#46403175)

this is why i can't wait for comcast to buy time warner cable
comcast is always on the streaming list of providers

Re:In my experience.... (1)

mark-t (151149) | about 9 months ago | (#46404763)

I dunno... seems to be fine for me for every network I watch. I don't have cable and watch all my TV streamed from the networks. The only restriction I'm finding is that I can't watch shows older than a week (I have to enter subscription info for that), so I have to watch them sooner than that. Several of the shows that I watch are on ABC.

Re:In my experience.... (3, Insightful)

almitydave (2452422) | about 9 months ago | (#46403067)

.... many networks will stream a good portion of the shows that they air, usually only a day or so after initial broadcast... and typically leave them available for about a week. There's commercials, of course, but it's really not that bad a way to watch television. I'm not sure what need Aero was really trying to fill.

Probably the needs of those for whom those qualifiers are problematic.

Re:In my experience.... (0)

mark-t (151149) | about 9 months ago | (#46403357)

So it's trying to fill the needs of people who have an overinflated sense of entitlement? Okay.... got it.

Re:In my experience.... (1)

lgw (121541) | about 9 months ago | (#46403929)

Other than the commercials, what's overinflated? OTA broadcast should by rights mean "anyone anywhere can now watch this content (unaltered) in any way they choose". Their our airways, after all. The only thing lost if any program broadcast ever anywhere was available for streaming unaltered on the internet (legally) would be the ease of counting the audience size for pricing the commercials.

Re:In my experience.... (1)

jedidiah (1196) | about 9 months ago | (#46403965)

> So it's trying to fill the needs of people who have an overinflated sense of entitlement? Okay.... got it.

Yes. The "overinflated sense of entitlement" to something that is BROADCAST FOR FREE on the PUBLIC AIRWAVES for EVERYONE.

Yeah. That's quite a "sense of entitlement": expecting to be able to receive a broadcast of a TV station in their broadcast area.

What's next? Perhaps they will expect clean air and fresh water.

Re:In my experience.... (1)

jonwil (467024) | about 9 months ago | (#46405441)

But what about all the stuff they dont put on the streaming sites.

Plenty of sporting events aired on OTA TV but which you cant legally stream over the internet (or cant legally stream live or cant legally stream unless you have a specific ISP or provider).

Or for that matter try finding a stream of something like the local news and weather forecast from he local network.
Or even the national news programming (including things like the Today Show on NBC).

Aereo will (if you are in their service area) give you all that programming.

Cable companies steal my free TV broadcasts (2)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about 9 months ago | (#46403189)

Is anyone doing anything about that?

Yeah.

Didn't think so.

Look, in First World countries, you get high bandwidth internet that is 10-20 times faster than the US for $20 a month or less and you get fewer commercials and lower cable bills.

We live in a Second World country.

Re:Cable companies steal my free TV broadcasts (1)

unitron (5733) | about 9 months ago | (#46403273)

"Cable companies steal my free TV broadcasts

Is anyone doing anything about that?"

Actually, the OTA broadcasts that cable receives and "re-transmits" aren't being stolen because the cable companies have to pay those local broadcasters (which of course really means the cable subscribers do).

And the viewers via cable are just as much a part of the ratings as the OTA viewers, so ad rates reflect that higher number.

Re:Cable companies steal my free TV broadcasts (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46403465)

Actually, the OTA broadcasts that cable receives and "re-transmits" aren't being stolen because the cable companies have to pay those local broadcasters (which of course really means the cable subscribers do)

And this is why Aereo loses, because what they're doing is exactly what the CATV companies were doing back when they started, and a law was passed specifically to deal with it.

Re:Cable companies steal my free TV broadcasts (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46404669)

Nope

The cable companies have 1 antenna; and are retransmitting it to everyone on cable via that feed. If everyone had a unique wire from the cable company to their house; that joined up to a unique antenna for every cable provider, the cable companies wouldn't have to pay anything.

Another way of saying this; is if the cable companies ran a really fucking long single cable from my house to the antenna, they wouldn't have to pay shit.

Aereo has a unique antenna for everyone; and is renting you the right to receive signals from that antenna.

Re:Cable companies steal my free TV broadcasts (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about 9 months ago | (#46403469)

You call it fair use, I call it theft from the public.

Same thing.

Murdoch vs Broadcast license (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46403307)

Rupert "Fox News" Murdoch partnered with Bill "MSNBC" Gates to create the inBloom (what Victorian paedophiles called their potential child victims- "in bloom") database designed to implement full surveillance against every child in the USA. Rupert Murdoch is Tony Blair's personal 'Goebbels' and wields more influence then any media baron in Human History.

Murdoch KNOWS the responsibilities that come with a TV broadcast license. You give up aspects of traditional copyright control for the 'right' to BROADCAST (notice that word) your service to as many potential customers as possible in the licensed region. Third parties that exist to simply enhance the ability of people within the license region to receive the broadcast BREAK NO LAW by definition.

This fact is why Aereo was not simply strangled at birth, as most of you betas assumed would happen with your incredibly flawed understanding of US law. But Murdoch doesn't care. Murdoch NEVER works within the law. When he faced an uphill battle to establish his pay-TV satellite services in Europe, facing impossible competition from well established companies, he simply had his Israeli operation reverse engineer the encryption on the smartcards used by the competition, and used criminal gangs to flood Europe with counterfeit cards at give-away prices. Just as with Murdoch's mass use of illegal phone tapping in the UK, Murdoch's connection to senior members of the US and UK governments ensured Murdoch is above the law, literally.

Murdoch has directed instructed Obama to end the restrictions imposed by broadcasters via their broadcast licenses, and assumes that the owners of ABC, NBC and CBS are willing to demand the same thing. The only significant power against Murdoch is that represented by the 'new wave' of entertainment services provided by the new-comers of the Internet. Google, Facebook, Yahoo and Microsoft have far more clout than Murdoch, but do they care to stand up for the rights of American citizens via a defence of the duties of owners of TV broadcast licenses? Hardly. The Internet giants want new models and 'freedoms' from responsibility as well, so will 'horse-trade' in order to gain as much as Rupert Murdoch.

PS please Google 'inbloom', and then realise no service on Earth does more to provide child abusers with such first class intelligence that allows them to identify the most perfect victims in regions of the USA with provably low standards of detection and prosecution. Bill Gates even uses his 'foundation' to pay teachers 'bounty' payments if they use information over-heard in the classroom or when parents talk with their children, to 'enhance' the data on a given child in the inBloom database. Gates has used his direct connections with senior judges and politicians to have the State of New York rule that no parent may prevent their child from being STALKED by the inBloom database created by Gates and Rupert Murdoch.

Open air broadcast is not free to do whatever with (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46403317)

On one hand broadcast TV is provided to anyone with a antenna and TV to watch. But if someone uses that programming for profit its a violation?
I guess the real issue is that it is considered re broadcast. In other words Aereo believes they are simply passing along a broadcast and not doing anything
to alter it. But in fact they are changing its delivery device and that means they are changing the signal and broadcast to another medium. They do this for a service. I would be in the same violation if I put up a antenna and feed that to my neighbors and charged a fee for doing so. I am not altering the signal per say, but I am charging for a service which means I must obtain permission to do so. Aereo would have to get permission to re broadcast as a that kind of provider. Same as a cable company would, or satellite.

Re:Open air broadcast is not free to do whatever w (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46403483)

It would be the same if you offered to lease roof space to your neighbor to put an antenna on... something which is not unheard of.

Re:Open air broadcast is not free to do whatever w (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | about 9 months ago | (#46403535)

It is, right up to the point where the cable from the antenna to the remote location is broken. At that point, it's not a direct lease - you are modifying the signal - combining, splitting, transcoding, retransmitting. 1:1 is the limit.

Re:Open air broadcast is not free to do whatever w (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46404693)

nope; the customer is doing that.

They are renting a DVR (device that consumes antenna signals) and renting a TV Aerial (device that harvests antenna signals).

They feed that antenna signal into a DVR which decodes it into video information and saves it.

Note: nothing special going on except the dvr is in a closet at Aereo.

Then I log into the DVR stored in the Aereo closet, I ask the DVR that I rent to send me the signal in a format I can consume. Normally, this is HDMI signals (very different from the signals broadcast over the air), but this time I ask it to send me them as an encoded video stream, which I then (through various potentially convoluted means) pipe to myself.

Note: I rent the PVR; I rent the antenna, I rent the cable between the PVR and the Antenna, and I command the PVR to transmit me the TV signals.

What part of that is Aereo doing wrong? Renting me a closet?

Foolish... (1)

Karmashock (2415832) | about 9 months ago | (#46403327)

Cord cutters might have actually watched their advertisements on occasion. Now... not a chance.

They just marginalized themselves for nothing.

Lobbyist Money Buys Justice Dept. Too (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46403657)

In other news, gigantic steaming piles of lobbyist money has been found to affect the judicial branch of the US government as well as the legislative branch.

Mini Apartment (1)

PaddyM (45763) | about 9 months ago | (#46404487)

How is this different than leasing a very tiny apartment somewhere?

So who paid the bribe? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46404713)

Since the Feds have been more-or-less hands off the court case so far. Who specifically bribed the Justice Department to take sides?

An EXTREME amount of protein is bad, well duh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46404925)

"The mice whose diets included 5% to 15% protein and 40% to 60% carbohydrates lived the longest, up to 150 weeks compared with 100 weeks for those on a diet of about 50% protein."

Even bodybuilders eating protein all day NEVER GET NEAR 50% of their total diet being protein. This article conveniently left out studies of the mice eating other percentages amount of protein and went with an overblown stat to report trying to scare people to get web traffic.

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