US consumer electronics trade association the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) has confirmed it is joining an ‘amicus brief’ in respect of the ongoing copyright violation case involving online television service Aereo.
Stating that the CEA is filing the brief on the side of ‘disruptive innovation’, Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of the CEA said the case “would hinge on basic principles from the 1984 Supreme Court Sony Betamax case, the Magna Carta decision of our industry defining full recording of broadcast television as a fair use and allowing innovation in technology.”
He suggested that the Aereo case, like the Sony Betamax case, was a challenge to innovative technology allowing people to conveniently access free, over-the-air broadcasting. “In Sony, it was time shifting broadcasting by a VCR; in Aereo, it is accessing free broadcasting through a computer. In both cases, the technology expands the audience, is consistent with broadcaster-borrowed use of public spectrum for free, over-the-air broadcasting and is being challenged as it is disruptive, new and not allowing consumer control by old industries,” he noted.
“Our legal system can and must favour innovation over the status quo. Our American exceptionalism and economic growth rely on innovation and we must fight legacy industries seeking to maintain their old ways of doing business,” he declared.