U.S. Broadcasters Sue Online TV Service Aereo


NEW YORK: Aereo, an online start-up that plans to give users web access to live broadcast TV, is being sued by Fox, Univision and PBS, among other broadcasters, for alleged copyright infringement.

Aereo, which is backed by Barry Diller’s IAC/InterActiveCorp, claims that it can legally stream video from local TV stations in New York City to residents via the Internet. A number of networks, which reportedly includes ABC, Disney, CBS, NBC, Telemundo and others, have now filed suit ahead of the service’s planned March 14 launch.

In a blog post on its website, Aereo says that two groups of broadcasters filed separate federal lawsuits against the company, claiming that Aereo will infringe their copyrights by making available technology that enables consumers to access broadcast TV via a remote antenna and DVR. "Aereo does not believe that the broadcasters’ position has any merit and it very much looks forward to a full and fair airing of the issue," read a statement from the company.

The statement continued, "Consumers are legally entitled to access broadcast television via an antenna and they are entitled to record television content for their personal use. Innovations in technology over time, from digital signals to Digital Video Recorders (DVRs), have made access to television easier and better for consumers. Aereo provides technology that enables consumers to use their cloud DVR and their remote antenna to record and watch the broadcast television signal to which they are entitled anywhere they are, whether on a phone, a tablet, a television or a laptop."