Originally Posted by mstone
Seems like the right decision to me. The broadcasters have the right to distribute their copyrighted content as they see fit. Just yesterday ABC announced some of their content would be live on Apple TV. That is the way it should be done. Grabbing the signal out of the air is basically stealing. It is protected just like any other content. Have you ever read the copyright on Apple's keynote broadcast? No rebroadcast, reproducing, re-streaming, etc. is permitted.
Aereo knew rebroadcasting was infringing which is why they came up with the convoluted scheme of renting your own remote antenna. Technologically there is no need to have thousands of separate antennas, it was just a legal end run around and it didn't work.
For the Aereo service to work, Aereo must capture/record the broadcast digital/analog signal transmitted over the airwaves from a high-powered long-range antennae, re-encode the signal to be compatible with the Internet, and re-transmit/stream the signal from its servers. Is it legal for Aereo to capture a live Copyrighted Telecast of an NFL game from a broadcast signal and stream it through the Internet? The answer is no.
What many consider to be "public" airwaves, are actually privately owned "licensed" radio spectrum purchased from the FCC. Media companies transmit their copyrighted content that are subsidized by sponsored advertisers in lieu of a paid subscription. This is the equivalent of going to a movie theater and watching a movie that is paid for by an advertiser, without having to purchase a ticket to view the movie. Without advertisers paying for the movie, viewers have to pay to see the content.
Television is not free. It is sponsored programming. If no sponsors paid for the programming, television will cease to be free, and the content will require a paid subscription (subsidized by advertisers) to view. The presumption is that a live broadcast signal is legal to capture and re-transmit, when in fact, a live broadcast signal is intended to be transmitted to receivers that do not re-transmit the signal. It is not legal to re-transmit a broadcast signal to the public without authorization of the author of the transmitted signal.
Broadcast television is technically a closed system that acts as open source entertainment. But a television with a digital receiver is simply a licensed box authorized to receive the signal - that is a contract between those who transmit the paid programming and those who view the paid programming - in that, the transmitter is basically saying that we are allowing you to freely watch copyrighted content in exchange of showing you sales pitches embedded in the content.
Simply because you can does not mean that you can. Aereo is simply demonstrating that people would like to watch TV through the Internet. What broadcasters will likely do is stream their signals online like ABC does, through software that requires you to log in to view the channel - or through Apple's servers that would turn the channels into Apple TV apps.
ABC has already done this. Other broadcast networks will likely follow.
Originally Posted by coxnvox
Another ruling designed to crush the consumer and uphold the antiquated ways of the evil corporations. I live in the mountains where, even though I am only 20 miles from downtown Denver as the crow flies, I cannot get TV via an antenna. And even cable conveniently stops a few hundred feet from my neighborhood so my only option was to get locked into a long-term, expensive contract with a satellite company. Aereo was a godsend. Figures that somebody would find a way to shut it down. Irritating.
If you know someone in the broadcast area, why don't you buy a set-top digital receiver box, a strong outdoor antenna you can mount on a pole on top of the house, a Sling Box, and purchase cheap broadband for about $10 to $15 a month (that you would share (and/or split the cost) with the host house), and watch live TV through your HTPC (Home Theater PC), or ROKU.
So, what can you do in this situation to watch television 20 miles away?
1. Buy an antenna.
2. Buy a digital set-top box with a DVR (like a Tivo), that can connect to the antenna and receive OTA channels.
3. Buy a Sling Box that can control the set-top box, and transmit the signal through the internet.
4. Take the antenna, digital set-top box, and Sling Box, and set it up in someone's home in the broadcast area who has broadband
(or, as I said earlier, buy cheap broadband and split the costs).
Put them together, what do you get?
Stream live television and recorded programming from your DVR through the Sling Box to your computer, phone, or tablet, anywhere you have an internet connection; and remotely control it live.
Oh, and by the way...
Here is an OTA receiver with a built in DVR.
Originally Posted by dasanman69
How is it any different than you watching a program that you DVR'd over Slingbox, or recording a TV show onto a HDD, and using a media center like Plex to stream it?
Is it legal for you to install a Slingbox in your home and transmit an NFL game through the internet to the public? You may be able to install a Slingbox in your home and transmit an NFL game to yourself through the Internet; that does not make it legal to do so. There's a huge difference between viewing something on your own and sharing it with others. With the Slingbox, you wouldn't be able to make your Slingbox content PUBLICLY available, which is not at all the same as streaming your content to yourself remotely. You also can't legally hold a public viewing of an NFL game.
So what is the difference in what Aereo is doing, in that they are planting their antennae clusters with the intent of capturing, recording, re-encoding, and re-transmitting (or streaming) broadcast signals from their servers to multiple recipients like a giant online Slingbox? The presumption is that a live broadcast signal is legal to capture and re-transmit, when in fact, a live broadcast signal is intended to be transmitted to receivers that do not re-transmit the signal. It is not legal to re-transmit a broadcast signal without authorization of the author of the transmitted signal.
What you call Free Broadcast Television, is the equivalent of signing up for Facebook or Google's services, in exchange for sending targeted ads to an audience through a device that is licensed to receive those targeted ads (the equivalent of a television channel). Television is a distribution channel of paid programming backed by advertising dollars. It is free to the audience who will see these ads and will potentially buy. The contract is the license to see this "local" programming on a specific radio frequency that is limited to a local "regional" market that has been demographically profiled - which allows advertisers to send targeted ads to a particular audience who is believed to watch specified programs.
Broadcasters transmit their signals to receivers that are only authorized to receive one copy of the signal, but are not authorized to re-transmit the signal to other receivers. With Aereo, you don't rent your own antenna in the cluster, because Aereo captures transmitted broadcast signals, encodes them onto their servers, and streams multiple copies of that same signal to many people all over the Internet through their website. Unauthorized re-transmission of a broadcast signal is illegal, because the content contained in the broadcast signal is copyrighted content, and the broadcaster has a limited license as to what can be transmitted, and in what region.
This is no different than radio stations having to pay artists royalties through ASCAP when they play their music that is sponsored by advertisers. To take a radio stations broadcast, and stream the music that the radio station plays would be a copyright violation and would be the equivalent of pirating the signal. Which is what Aereo is actually doing. Aereo is basically pirating OTA broadcasts signals, and transmitting them without authorization.
It is a presumption to assume that Television is a free entitlement. It is not.
Edited by InteliusQ - 6/25/14 at 11:48am