There are some good thoughts from Carl Ford on the Supreme Court Aereo ruling which says the company cannot transmit content freely received over public airwaves over the internet while also providing a DVR service and charging customers. Carl argues that the Supreme Court lost track of the public good regarding this case but I would argue that that is not the job of the court. Instead, I would make the point that if I were to come to your house and install a digital TV antenna, DVR and Slingbox I would effectively be giving you what Aereo does. If I were to charge monthly for the equipment, would this not be providing the same service Aero does? And, as far as I can tell, it is legal to install all this equipment and charge monthly for it. Why, is it illegal to do this in a central location?
This is the same argument Cablevision made to the Second Circuit’s Court of Appeals when it put its DVRs in the cloud and subsequently won the case case. ARS Technica had a good article on the matter at the time. Here is an excerpt:
It seems to me the Supreme Court got this one wrong. If we go back to Carl’s point about “public good,” it is worth pointing out these public airwaves were made available for broadcasters to use… The internet today is an extension of these radio frequencies and the government needs to adjust. To that end, Aereo made a plea yesterday to its members to send letters to politicians so as to get the service reinstated. If you agree, you should consider doing so.
If you want to learn more, the company has a site full of information at protectmyantenna.org.