Advanced Television

CEA joins Aereo amicus brief

April 3, 2014

By Colin Mann

The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) has become the latest trade body to show its support for Internet TV streaming service Aereo in its pending case before the US Supreme Court by filing an amicus (friend of court) brief in conjunction with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Engine Advocacy and Public Knowledge.

Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of CEA, said the case pitted entrenched businesses with deep political ties against an innovative entrepreneur who carefully followed the words of the law and implemented an idea of giving people the broadcast television service they are entitled to get.

“Entrepreneurs should be allowed to rely on laws as written, rather than face tortured interpretations of the law that the status quo demands government provide. The Supreme Court should reject the pleas of the broadcast lobby and respect the fact that broadcasters are loaned spectrum so that every citizen in a geographic area can have access to broadcast service. Broadcasters are revealing their disdain for free, over-the-air service by their legal arguments and public statements that Aereo should be shut down,” he stated.

“The court faces a choice – embrace innovation as the law allows or preserve the status quo. In the Sony and Cablevision cases, the court chose innovation, and new jobs and businesses were created. We ask the court to again choose a fair reading of the law and favour the new business entrant rather than the entrenched broadcasters, who by this lawsuit show their disdain for providing citizens service,” he concluded.

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