In a sweeping opinion on Wednesday, the Supreme Court ruled in a 6-3 decision that the fledgling TV service Aereo violated copyright laws, in a big victory for television networks. The Justices said the cloud computing business is unaffected by the decision.
The ruling effectively ends Aereo as a viable business model, even though the Court had remanded the case back to a lower court.
“Aereo performs petitioners’ works publicly within the meaning of the Transmit Clause,” said Justice Stephen Breyer, writing for the majority.
“We must decide whether respondent Aereo, Inc., infringes this exclusive right by selling its subscribers a technologically complex service that allows them to watch television programs over the Internet at about the same time as the programs are broadcast over the air. We conclude that it does,” Breyer said.
“The proper course is not to bend and twist the Act’s terms in an effort to produce a just outcome, but to apply the law as it stands and leave to Congress the task of deciding whether the Copyright Act needs an upgrade,” said Justice Antonin Scalia in his dissent.