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American Broadcasting Companies, Inc. v. Aereo, Inc.

United States Supreme Court
134 S. Ct. 2498 (2014)


Facts

Aereo, Incorporated (Aereo) (defendant) was an internet-based television subscription service. Aereo charged a subscription fee to its users, and the service allowed users to stream live-broadcast television shows. Subscribers indicated which television show they wanted to watch and then had the option to either view the show as it aired or save it for another time. To accommodate requests, Aereo dedicated one antenna to each subscriber’s request, tuned the antenna to the selected broadcast signal, and stored the received data on a server file dedicated to the requesting subscriber. If more than one subscriber requested a particular broadcast, a separate copy would be created and saved of the show for each subscriber. Aereo was sued for copyright infringement by television producers, broadcasters, and others with copyright interests (content owners) (plaintiffs) in the programs available to Aereo’s subscribers. The district court denied the content owners’ requests for a preliminary injunction, and the decision was affirmed by the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. The content owners petitioned for a writ of certiorari.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Breyer, J.)

Dissent (Scalia, J.)

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