According to the Hollywood Reporter, on Wednesday, New York judge Alison Nathan presided over a hearing for a preliminary injunction against Aereo. Two years ago, Nathan denied an injunction on behalf of national broadcasters. Yet this summer, the Supreme Court decided otherwise, ruling that the distribution of individual copies of TV signals violated the Transmit Clause of the Copyright Act. While Aereo has ceased operations since the June decision, it now seeks permission to make compulsory license payments under § 111 of the Copyright Act to broadcast content. Aereo argues that it should be treated as a cable company and be permitted to make these payments. Along these lines, Aereo also recently petioned the FCC to modify its definition of a MPVD (multichannel video program distributor) to include online programming. If this change is made, Aereo could negotiate with broadcasters for the rights to retransmit their channels. Furthermore, if the injunction is not denied outright, Aereo suggests the implementation of a limited injunction–prohibiting the transmission of live performances but allowing the distribution of programs on a ten minute delay (because the Supreme Court did not rule on the legality of time shifting). If the limited injunction is granted, Aereo could continue to operate in a limited manner. As a vast majority of the American population begins to watch television online, Nathan’s the FCC’s decisions will have enormous impacts on the future of television.
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