Advanced Television

Does Aereo ban doomed Hopper, Sling?

July 1, 2014

Last week’s US Supreme Court ruling that Aereo must cease retransmitting over-the-air content, might now have a deep impact on other players.

Fox Broadcasting almost immediately filed a fresh motion with the 9th Circuit Court which is hearing its appeal against an infringement decision made by the court in favour of Dish Network’s ‘Hopper’ place-shifting technology, itself based on Echostar-owned Sling Media’s technology.

Fox wrote June 25th that the Supreme Court’s decision that the Aereo online streaming television service violated copyright law by transmitting broadcast programming without permission, was directly relevant to its Dish appeal, and that Aereo and Dish’s Hopper were near-identical services.

TV copyright law in the US has been largely based on the mid-1980’s case where Betamax saw Sony successfully argue that home-taping did not infringe on copyright. Aereo has been arguing a similar case these past months.

The broadcasters have successfully argued that Aereo’s service amounts to stealing and recycling network property. Consequently, Fox is vigorously reopening its case against Dish Network. But ‘Hopper’ and Sling Media are not alone in place-shifting material. Other electronic companies have similar devices.

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