Aereo files pre-emptive CBS lawsuit

Internet TV streaming service Aereo has filed a lawsuit designed to prevent future lawsuits from CBS. The broadcaster – along with other major US networks – has already sued Aereo in New York, its initial launch area, claiming copyright infringement, but two federal courts have found in the start-up’s favour.

Aereo has announced that the platform will officially launch in Boston on May 15th. The Boston launch marks its first new market outside of New York City designated market area (DMA). Boston is the second city to launch as part of Aereo’s 22-city expansion announced in January.

In response, CBS executives have said they plan to file a new lawsuit in the federal district court for Massachusetts, but Aereo’s pre-emptive filing contends that the broadcasters cannot seek a ‘do-over’ in fresh courts.

“It is not proper for parties to attempt to re-litigate claims that are pending, let alone already decided. Among other reasons, it would be highly inefficient and a waste of judicial resources,” said the filing.

“These public relations and legal maneuvers do not change the fundamentally illegal nature of Aereo’s supposed business,” CBS responded, noting that the issue of unauthorised streaming of copyrighted television programming was now being contested in the Second Circuit and the ninth Circuit, warning that “wherever Aereo attempts to operate there will be vigorous challenges to its illegal business model.”


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