Oral argument in ‘ABC Television Stations v. Aereo’ to begin at Supreme Court

KWIKA partner Jonathan Steinsapir was quoted by Variety in Ted Johnson’s piece on the latest developments in the closely watched copyright battle between ABC Television Stations and television streaming service Aereo.

Oral argument begins April 22 in the battle to determine if copyright law protects broadcasters like ABC or television streaming services like Aereo. The basic issue is whether the content supplied by a streaming service to its customers is a public or private performance.  Copyright law protects public performances; it does not protect private performances.  There have been a number of legal challenges against Aereo, with varying results, and as Jonathan has said before, the Supreme Court needs to step in and tie up all the loose ends.

The latest concern about the issue is that if the high Court were to rule for broadcasters, the fallout could potentially threaten cloud computing.  However, Jonathan believes that any decision will be narrow enough to avoid such an effect.  “If they do rule for broadcasters, it is not going to be a broad decision that would shut down cloud computing,” he said.

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