Aereo CEO Speaks Out Days Before Supreme Court Hearing
Chet Kanojia continues to assert that Aereo does not infringe on broadcaster copyrights.
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The interview is certainly timely, arriving less than a week before Aereo's Supreme Court hearing. It also aired more or less simultaneously with the launch of ProtectMyAntenna.org, a website that lays out Aereo's case in layman's terms in an effort to generate broad public support.
Essentially, the company's defense boils down to a single sentence, found in the penultimate paragraph:
"Aereo believes that a consumer has the right to use modern equipment, including a remotely located individual antenna and DVR, to access over-the-air broadcast signals."
In his interview with Couric, Kanojia reiterates his position that the Aereo service is a combination of two completely legal services/activities. Aereo is not infringing upon anyone's copyright, he asserts, because it simply facilitates the viewing of free-to-air content.
He further argues that a huge measure of broadcaster revenue (90%) is earned via advertisements, and therefore broadcasters have been "fairly compensated" before Aereo even retransmits the broadcasts.
While early court decisions repeatedly went in Aereo's favor, a recent decision by a Utah district court saw it banned in six states, and set up a tough fight in the highest court in the land. The company will have its ultimate day in court on April 22nd, and we'll all find out just how solid its case really is.