US Supreme Court rules on American Broadcasting et al. v. Aereo

On 25 June 2014, the US Supreme Court held, by majority, that the Aereo TV streaming service is a “public performance” within the meaning of US Copyright law and therefore amounts to an infringement of copyright in the underlying content.

Aereo is a US company which retransmits TV programs to its subscribers via the Internet without the permission of the owners of copyright in the broadcasts or their underlying content. Aereo’s business model has been controversial, as the use of antennas has been clearly designed to overcome the public performance right in US copyright law. The Supreme Court’s majority now concluded that by operating its service, Aereo was not merely supplying equipment, but was “performing” within the meaning of the US Copyright Act.

A copy of the decision is available here.