If you can read this, either the style sheet didn't load or you have an older browser that doesn't support style sheets. Try clearing your browser cache and refreshing the page.

(The Week)   Aereo's argument to SCOTUS: "Look, let's face it. Broadcasters are gonna get hosed one way or the other. If we don't do it, someone else will. Don't harsh our mellow, dudes"   (theweek.com) divider line 219
    More: Followup, Aereo, U.S. Supreme Court, Supreme Court  
•       •       •

7793 clicks; posted to Main » on 21 Apr 2014 at 10:01 AM (30 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



219 Comments   (+0 »)
   
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest

First | « | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | » | Last | Show all
 
vpb [TotalFark]
2014-04-21 08:32:10 AM  
I don't see why it's such an issue.  OTA TV makes money from advertisements and Aereo would help them reach a larger audience and make more money.  It's supposed to be a replacement for an antenna IMHO.  I don't see that it's any different from making a high gain antenna.
 
2014-04-21 08:50:13 AM  

vpb: I don't see why it's such an issue.  OTA TV makes money from advertisements and Aereo would help them reach a larger audience and make more money.  It's supposed to be a replacement for an antenna IMHO.  I don't see that it's any different from making a high gain antenna.


Yeah, but there's even more money to be made if they can charge Aereo for the privilege of helping themselves make more money. It's the end game, folks. In twenty years, the haves will have everything and the have-nots will be farked forever. You need to grab what you can, now.
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2014-04-21 08:52:51 AM  
There are a lot of players here, not only two. CBS' plan B for simultaneous streaming hurts its affiliate stations.
 
2014-04-21 09:50:45 AM  

vpb: I don't see why it's such an issue.  OTA TV makes money from advertisements and Aereo would help them reach a larger audience and make more money.  It's supposed to be a replacement for an antenna IMHO.  I don't see that it's any different from making a high gain antenna.


OTA TV also makes a lot of money from charging retransmission fees to cable companies just like a regular cable channel does.  In that, Aereo isn't all that different, and probably should be paying up (since they're now making money providing someone else's product without permission).

That said, I'm not sure how a cable company typically receives a feed from the OTA broadcaster (satellite or fiber or antenna).
 
2014-04-21 09:54:27 AM  

wxboy: vpb: I don't see why it's such an issue.  OTA TV makes money from advertisements and Aereo would help them reach a larger audience and make more money.  It's supposed to be a replacement for an antenna IMHO.  I don't see that it's any different from making a high gain antenna.

OTA TV also makes a lot of money from charging retransmission fees to cable companies just like a regular cable channel does.  In that, Aereo isn't all that different, and probably should be paying up (since they're now making money providing someone else's product without permission).

That said, I'm not sure how a cable company typically receives a feed from the OTA broadcaster (satellite or fiber or antenna).


So OTA double bills. They get the advertising and fees from the cable companies who then charge us and drop other commercials on top of the OTA ones.

/must go derper
 
2014-04-21 10:06:40 AM  

wxboy: vpb: I don't see why it's such an issue.  OTA TV makes money from advertisements and Aereo would help them reach a larger audience and make more money.  It's supposed to be a replacement for an antenna IMHO.  I don't see that it's any different from making a high gain antenna.

OTA TV also makes a lot of money from charging retransmission fees to cable companies just like a regular cable channel does.  In that, Aereo isn't all that different, and probably should be paying up (since they're now making money providing someone else's product without permission).

That said, I'm not sure how a cable company typically receives a feed from the OTA broadcaster (satellite or fiber or antenna).


In the early days, I believe the cable company picked up the signal with an antenna on a nice high tower.  Nowadays I suppose the digital signal can just be sent to them from the OTA station, then it gets processed some more to squeeze it onto the cable/fiber.
 
2014-04-21 10:11:56 AM  
Is this really any different than the case against The Pirate Bay?
 
2014-04-21 10:13:35 AM  
Remember this is the same industry that told the Supreme Court, in the early 1980's,  with a straight face, that there should be a $3 surcharge added to every blank VCR tape sold in America and that money should be given directly to them.  A failure to do so, the industry swore, would mean that Hollywood studios and TV production companies would be driven out of business by the end of the decade

Now, of course we know that the VCR and its successors has been the greatest financial BOON to the movie and TV industry ever, but that did not stop them from doing their best to strangle the technology in the cradle.  Mostly because large corporations react to innovation about as well as SNL's famous "unfrozen caveman lawyer"
 
2014-04-21 10:14:58 AM  
solution. give the broadcasters their slice. maybe 10% distributed amongst the big 4. 2.5% each. that means Aereo charges 9 bucks a month and not 8.
 
2014-04-21 10:16:27 AM  
I, too, think the broadcasters will prevail. If they don't, the ruling will impact far more than Aereo and the broadcast industry. However, today's digital televisions cannot even receive a broadcast without a special antenna. The sellers of these devices are not required to pay licensing fees. Telecommunications also transmit content between mobile and other devices without having to pay a licensing fee. So, cannot Aereos not be considered a subscription antenna provider?
 
2014-04-21 10:21:16 AM  

stonicus: Is this really any different than the case against The Pirate Bay?


kind of, PB never let OTA providers gain access to the number of people downloading a specific show for ratings data so they can then use those numbers to squeez more money from advertisers.
 
2014-04-21 10:21:54 AM  

vpb: I don't see why it's such an issue.  OTA TV makes money from advertisements and Aereo would help them reach a larger audience and make more money.  It's supposed to be a replacement for an antenna IMHO.  I don't see that it's any different from making a high gain antenna.


OTA TV pays for content by market size.  This is how small markets can afford content; if Smalltown USA had to pay NYC rates, that would be impossible for the small broadcasters.  If NYC payed Smalltown's rates, there would not be enough money to justify developing content.

Having a third party make those markets completely arbitrary based on where THEY happen to put their antenna will mess up the system.
 
2014-04-21 10:23:31 AM  

JackieRabbit: So, cannot Aereos not be considered a subscription antenna provider?


Aereo is essentially a leased antenna.

Regardless, the broadcasters will win because they have money and the Roberts' court sides with powerful interests every single time.
 
2014-04-21 10:23:40 AM  

Name_Omitted: vpb: I don't see why it's such an issue.  OTA TV makes money from advertisements and Aereo would help them reach a larger audience and make more money.  It's supposed to be a replacement for an antenna IMHO.  I don't see that it's any different from making a high gain antenna.

OTA TV pays for content by market size.  This is how small markets can afford content; if Smalltown USA had to pay NYC rates, that would be impossible for the small broadcasters.  If NYC payed Smalltown's rates, there would not be enough money to justify developing content.

Having a third party make those markets completely arbitrary based on where THEY happen to put their antenna will mess up the system.


They only allow you to see the region based on your IP address.
 
2014-04-21 10:23:58 AM  

Magorn: Now, of course we know that the VCR and its successors has been the greatest financial BOON to the movie and TV industry ever, but that did not stop them from doing their best to strangle the technology in the cradle.


They are as the Boston strangler is to the woman home alone.

//waiting for the barrage of people who don't understand this comment.
 
2014-04-21 10:24:46 AM  
I think Aereo should win.

Here's my thinking.

Imagine you are a landlord.  You own a house and rent it out.  Heck, you own several houses and rent them out.  Attached to each house is a television antenna on the roof (old-school style); the tenant hooks up their TV to it.  Nobody would argue that this is illegal.

Aereo is doing the same thing-renting out a TV antenna.  Therefore, it should be legal.

But who knows the ruling will actually go?
 
2014-04-21 10:25:35 AM  
Theme song for all parties involved.....
 
2014-04-21 10:25:56 AM  

Hobodeluxe: solution. give the broadcasters their slice. maybe 10% distributed amongst the big 4. 2.5% each. that means Aereo charges 9 bucks a month and not 8.


Pretty much this. Hell, if Aereo's service turned out to be popular, in a few years they'd be in a good position to get bought out by Comcast/TW or some other giant media corp. But because they -had- to rush out and implement this without working with the providers or making sure the bajillion middlemen got their cut, it's gonna be ugly.
 
2014-04-21 10:26:22 AM  

TheGreatGazoo: Name_Omitted: vpb: I don't see why it's such an issue.  OTA TV makes money from advertisements and Aereo would help them reach a larger audience and make more money.  It's supposed to be a replacement for an antenna IMHO.  I don't see that it's any different from making a high gain antenna.

OTA TV pays for content by market size.  This is how small markets can afford content; if Smalltown USA had to pay NYC rates, that would be impossible for the small broadcasters.  If NYC payed Smalltown's rates, there would not be enough money to justify developing content.

Having a third party make those markets completely arbitrary based on where THEY happen to put their antenna will mess up the system.

They only allow you to see the region based on your IP address.


In that case, my argument is invalid.
 
2014-04-21 10:29:39 AM  

Geotpf: Imagine you are a landlord.  You own a house and rent it out.  Heck, you own several houses and rent them out.  Attached to each house is a television antenna on the roof (old-school style); the tenant hooks up their TV to it.  Nobody would argue that this is illegal.


Except the landlord isn't storing and redistributing the content, let alone charging for access to it.
 
2014-04-21 10:32:27 AM  

TheGreatGazoo: Name_Omitted: vpb: I don't see why it's such an issue.  OTA TV makes money from advertisements and Aereo would help them reach a larger audience and make more money.  It's supposed to be a replacement for an antenna IMHO.  I don't see that it's any different from making a high gain antenna.

OTA TV pays for content by market size.  This is how small markets can afford content; if Smalltown USA had to pay NYC rates, that would be impossible for the small broadcasters.  If NYC payed Smalltown's rates, there would not be enough money to justify developing content.

Having a third party make those markets completely arbitrary based on where THEY happen to put their antenna will mess up the system.

They only allow you to see the region based on your IP address.


Which, as we know, is completely foolproof.
 
2014-04-21 10:38:42 AM  

TofuTheAlmighty: JackieRabbit: So, cannot Aereos not be considered a subscription antenna provider?

Aereo is essentially a leased antenna.

Regardless, the broadcasters will win because they have money and the Roberts' court sides with powerful interests every single time.


My thinking as well. Hell, they will probably soon allow corporations to vote and cast a number of votes equal to the number of employees they have. That or the number of dollars they paid in income tax since the last election. America is now an economic oligarchy, not a true democratic republic.
 
2014-04-21 10:41:23 AM  
Why aren't VCR and TiVo manufacturers getting sued over this? Their devices allow people to store and "rebroadcast" content.
 
2014-04-21 10:41:41 AM  

wooden_badger: wxboy: vpb: I don't see why it's such an issue.  OTA TV makes money from advertisements and Aereo would help them reach a larger audience and make more money.  It's supposed to be a replacement for an antenna IMHO.  I don't see that it's any different from making a high gain antenna.

OTA TV also makes a lot of money from charging retransmission fees to cable companies just like a regular cable channel does.  In that, Aereo isn't all that different, and probably should be paying up (since they're now making money providing someone else's product without permission).

That said, I'm not sure how a cable company typically receives a feed from the OTA broadcaster (satellite or fiber or antenna).

In the early days, I believe the cable company picked up the signal with an antenna on a nice high tower.  Nowadays I suppose the digital signal can just be sent to them from the OTA station, then it gets processed some more to squeeze it onto the cable/fiber.


It wasn't so high tech in the early days, or even these days. A lot of times cable companies use trees, wood poles, 2x4's nailed to poles, whatever is handy, to reach broadcast from  the local stations with a regular old TV antenna. There's more to it after that, like microwave links to the central office in some cases, but for the most part technical knowledge for the general public has improved over the years since the early days of cable - if you were to see an early cable TV system, you would say to yourself, "WTF? I could do that."

The larger the system, both in terms of number of subscribers and distance, the more involved it becomes. Having a simple antenna pointed at a station is pretty cheap and easy - hardwire costs money. The expense come with getting the signal to people's homes. You see cable line tacked on power poles and telephone poles. The cable company has to lease space on those poles from whoever owns them. That's why wireless is cool, and profitable.
 
2014-04-21 10:42:17 AM  

wxboy: vpb: I don't see why it's such an issue.  OTA TV makes money from advertisements and Aereo would help them reach a larger audience and make more money.  It's supposed to be a replacement for an antenna IMHO.  I don't see that it's any different from making a high gain antenna.

OTA TV also makes a lot of money from charging retransmission fees to cable companies just like a regular cable channel does.  In that, Aereo isn't all that different, and probably should be paying up (since they're now making money providing someone else's product without permission).

That said, I'm not sure how a cable company typically receives a feed from the OTA broadcaster (satellite or fiber or antenna).


As far as receiving the content cable companies love redundancy. Typically a direct fiber link and antennas to pick up the OTA feed at multiple MTCs which are inter-connected via fiber networks.
 
2014-04-21 10:44:08 AM  

JackieRabbit: That or the number of dollars they paid in income tax since the last election.


Considering how much some of them dodge taxes, this could actually reduce corporate influence.
 
2014-04-21 10:44:58 AM  
I used to live in a high-rise condo.  On the roof of the building, our HOA put up several high-quality antennas and installed all the necessary equipment to boost and distribute the signals to the ~200 condo unit owners.  It was a very good, "free" (well, we obviously paid for the equipment and maintenance through condo fees) cable system.  But, the cable providers weren't cut out - if you wanted cable, you could purchase it and their infrastructure was in our building for easy setup; in fact, we also had the choice of two satellite providers who had installed equipment on the roof which would capture/distribute the signals down to the condos.

It all worked very well together.  The condo owners had their choice of market provider(s) and packages, or we could use our socialist OTA system.

Of course, this was in Canada.  Derp.
 
2014-04-21 10:48:32 AM  

GoldSpider: Geotpf: Imagine you are a landlord.  You own a house and rent it out.  Heck, you own several houses and rent them out.  Attached to each house is a television antenna on the roof (old-school style); the tenant hooks up their TV to it.  Nobody would argue that this is illegal.

Except the landlord isn't storing and redistributing the content, let alone charging for access to it.


Imagine that the house you live in gets bad television reception.  Your neighbor, who lives on a hill, gets great reception.  Your neighbor hears you complaining about the difficulty of getting TV at your place, so he comes to you one day and says, "Hey, I've got a spare antenna mounted up at my place, and a spare DVR, too.  How about you rent them from me and we'll run a cable from the antenna down to your house?"

That's all Aereo is doing.
 
2014-04-21 10:49:17 AM  

Hobodeluxe: solution. give the broadcasters their slice. maybe 10% distributed amongst the big 4. 2.5% each. that means Aereo charges 9 bucks a month and not 8.


Except, in practice, this means that my cable/satellite bill is now filled with at least of $8 worth of charges from various ESPN channels that I have absolutely no interest in.
 
2014-04-21 10:49:30 AM  

NutWrench: Why aren't VCR and TiVo manufacturers getting sued over this? Their devices allow people to store and "rebroadcast" content.


Ah yes, the fabled Arpanet-enabled betamax with transcoding to VT100 text animation streaming capabilities to your TRS-80.

/now with COLECOVISION media extender!
 
2014-04-21 10:51:59 AM  

vpb: I don't see why it's such an issue.  OTA TV makes money from advertisements and Aereo would help them reach a larger audience and make more money.  It's supposed to be a replacement for an antenna IMHO.  I don't see that it's any different from making a high gain antenna.


I live in downtown Boston, right beneath a couple of the big television broadcast sites. Because of the antenna beam angles, I can't receive  any television stations. I used Aereo this past fall so that I could watch live football, without paying for full cable.

So, yeah, I think it's a reasonable business model. But it's an interesting question of copyright law, not really addressed in the current statutes.
 
2014-04-21 10:52:38 AM  
Damn.

I've always been under the impression that recording then rebroadcasting a tv show was illegal, even if I encrypted the signal and charged a membership fee.
 
2014-04-21 10:53:20 AM  
For the life of me I can't imagine how Aereo can win this argument.   The ramifications of a ruling in their favor would seriously cripple OTA ad revenue.  That said I hope they win.
 
2014-04-21 10:54:13 AM  
What a tit
 
2014-04-21 10:54:51 AM  

Theaetetus: I live in downtown Boston, right beneath a couple of the big television broadcast sites. Because of the antenna beam angles, I can't receive  any television stations.


Other people are also so close the signal overloads their tuner and can't see anything. I'm in the sweet spot for my area, getting Hartford and Springfield with decent strength.
 
2014-04-21 10:55:15 AM  

Necronic: For the life of me I can't imagine how Aereo can win this argument.   The ramifications of a ruling in their favor would seriously cripple OTA ad revenue.  That said I hope they win.


why? the ads are reaching more homes not less.
 
2014-04-21 10:55:55 AM  

GoldSpider: Geotpf: Imagine you are a landlord.  You own a house and rent it out.  Heck, you own several houses and rent them out.  Attached to each house is a television antenna on the roof (old-school style); the tenant hooks up their TV to it.  Nobody would argue that this is illegal.

Except the landlord isn't storing and redistributing the content, let alone charging for access to it.


What if the landlord did charge, though? For eight bucks he lets you use one of his VCRs (he has a bunch in the basement) and promises to keep the antenna in good shape and routes it to your apartment.

There's no way that's illegal.

To make the analogy perfect, the landlord has ten units and ten antennae. Aereo literally has an antenna for each user.

This is like suing VCR manufacturers. Which of course Big Cable did.
 
2014-04-21 10:57:58 AM  
As usual, the best place for commentary on cases in front of SCOTUS is scotusblog.

Here's the most recent on Aereo.
 
2014-04-21 10:58:49 AM  
People still watch TV?
 
2014-04-21 11:01:16 AM  

NutWrench: Why aren't VCR and TiVo manufacturers getting sued over this? Their devices allow people to store and "rebroadcast" content.


The crux of this is that Aero is charging for the re-broadcast.    The argument is similar to the one the NFL makes about its games.   You can watch them, you can even hve friends over watching them.  but if you say ran a movie theater and charge people to come watch the game on your giant screen, then you owe the NFL.  Similarly is you have the game on in a bar, since presumably you are trying to get people to come spnd money at your bar so they can watch the game, the NFL requires you to buy a license form them to show those games at your bar
 
2014-04-21 11:01:35 AM  

meat0918: Damn.

I've always been under the impression that recording then rebroadcasting a tv show was illegal, even if I encrypted the signal and charged a membership fee.


They aren't rebroadcasting the show as each user has their own DVR

The whole argument is basically are VCR/DVR legal if they're 10 miles down the road from the TV.  If not then at what distances does a legal VCR/DVR become illegal
 
2014-04-21 11:01:45 AM  

Hobodeluxe: Necronic: For the life of me I can't imagine how Aereo can win this argument.   The ramifications of a ruling in their favor would seriously cripple OTA ad revenue.  That said I hope they win.

why? the ads are reaching more homes not less.


Right.  Their revenue might go down because they wouldn't be able to extract as much from the cable company in carriage fees, but definitely not because of loss of ad revenue.

That said, the desirable OTA spectrum space is being nibbled away bit by bit.  We now have a VHF TV band that's largely unused for TV (part of which could have easily been re-purposed for an expanded FM service), but it's pretty much worth nothing to the mobile comm companies.

That mega-watt UHF transmitter is a big expense that many "broadcasters" may soon want to do without.
 
2014-04-21 11:01:51 AM  
Why is Fark allowing subbu to rebroadcast last night's thread?
 
2014-04-21 11:02:45 AM  

NutWrench: Why aren't VCR and TiVo manufacturers getting sued over this? Their devices allow people to store and "rebroadcast" content.


No, they don't. They are recording devices and the SCOTUS long ago ruled that the copyright laws allow recording for private consumption. If you record content and then sell it without license to do so, the broadcaster or other copyright holders can come after you.
 
2014-04-21 11:04:24 AM  

Necronic: For the life of me I can't imagine how Aereo can win this argument.


From the syllabus of Cartoon Network v. CSC Holdings, back in 2008:
Copyright holders' exclusive right of public performance applies to transmissions of performances to places open to public or where substantial number of persons are gathered, or to public "whether the members of the public capable of receiving the performance or display receive it in the same place or in separate places and at the same time or different times," 17 U.S.C. §101; in present case, playback transmissions from defendants' "remote storage" digital video recorder system, which permits customers to record programs on servers at defendants' central facility for future playback at home, are not unauthorized performances "to the public," and thus defendants are entitled to summary judgment on plaintiffs' claim for direct infringement of their right of public performance, since transmissions are made using single unique copy of work that is made by individual subscriber and can only be decoded by subscriber's cable box, and thus only single subscriber is "capable of receiving" transmission, and since "transmit clause" of Section 101 contemplates potential audience of particular transmission, not potential audience of underlying work whose content is being transmitted, in that potential audience of any copyrighted audiovisual work is general public; fact that unique copies of same work are used to make transmissions limits potential audience of transmission, and is therefore relevant to determination of whether transmission is made "to the public."

Mind you, that was only from the 2nd Circuit, but I believe SCOTUS denied cert in that case.
 
2014-04-21 11:05:10 AM  

NutWrench: Why aren't VCR and TiVo manufacturers getting sued over this? Their devices allow people to store and "rebroadcast" content.


Well, for one thing, if a content provider wanted to keep a TiVo from doing a "Save Until Deleted" all they have to do is set a special flag when the show is broadcast and the amount of time it stays on the TiVo is limited.  Same thing with the ability to transfer the shows to an external drive on your home network.  It's been a while since I got cable but I seem to remember some shows (like South Park) that you couldn't transfer off the TiVo.
 
2014-04-21 11:06:47 AM  

NutWrench: Why aren't VCR and TiVo manufacturers getting sued over this? Their devices allow people to store and "rebroadcast" content.


Because VCR and TiVo manufacturers only build and sell products.  The crime only occurs with what you do with the equipment.
 
2014-04-21 11:06:55 AM  

positronica: GoldSpider: Geotpf: Imagine you are a landlord.  You own a house and rent it out.  Heck, you own several houses and rent them out.  Attached to each house is a television antenna on the roof (old-school style); the tenant hooks up their TV to it.  Nobody would argue that this is illegal.

Except the landlord isn't storing and redistributing the content, let alone charging for access to it.

Imagine that the house you live in gets bad television reception.  Your neighbor, who lives on a hill, gets great reception.  Your neighbor hears you complaining about the difficulty of getting TV at your place, so he comes to you one day and says, "Hey, I've got a spare antenna mounted up at my place, and a spare DVR, too.  How about you rent them from me and we'll run a cable from the antenna down to your house?"

That's all Aereo is doing.


Except Aereo is putting thousands of spare antennas on a circuit board. So, to make your metaphor better, what if your neighbor were to cover every inch of his rooftop with antennas, and every square inch of his yard, so that there are hundreds of the things. Then he goes around to every house in the neighborhood and says "Hey, I'm willing to rent you access to my antennas for cheaper than the cable company. You should cut the cable and go with me instead."

I think we can both agree that the large-scale operation, while operating in a superficial way like the example you gave, is fundamentally different. The Court and Congress has recognized this in the past; it's perfectly fine to record a program off TV, invite your neighbors over, and have a movie night. It's why it's not a violation of copyright if I invite all my friends over to watch Orphan Black. But it is a violation of copyright if record a program off of TV, then bring it to a theater and charge admission for people to use watch my copy of the program.

Aereo's technology is essentially an attempt to conform to the letter of the law by not  technically doing the latter scenario; each "antenna" is only used for one person, therefore they are  technically not charging large groups of people to watch the same programs. But in aggregate, and ignoring their (admittedly very clever) technological ways around the problem, it's very clear that what they're doing is recording programs off of TV and then charging other people to watch them. They're exploiting a loophole that the Second Circuit made a few years ago, but there's no really good argument for why the loophole should exist.

Aereo is likely going to lose, as a result. Even if their technology actually fits the loophole (which it does seem like it does), the Supreme Court doesn't have to act like idiots and is allowed to call a spade a spade.
 
2014-04-21 11:07:13 AM  
And those hooks were placed in the TiVo software at the behest of content providers.
 
2014-04-21 11:08:15 AM  

Magorn: The crux of this is that Aero is charging for the re-broadcast.


Aereo doesn't  broadcast anything - they unicast everything, on a one customer=one receiver/DVR basis. It's very similar to that Cartoon Network case I quoted from above - a single unique copy is made for each subscriber and sent only to the subscriber.

It's horribly inefficient from a technical standpoint, of course.
 
Displayed 50 of 219 comments

First | « | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | » | Last | Show all

View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest


This thread is closed to new comments.

Continue Farking
Submit a Link »






Report