Earlier today, Aereo has received the biggest blow it could as the US Supreme Court has deemed that its activities are illegal.
The justices have decided that Aereo is not a simple equipment provider as it tries to tell everyone, but rather the equivalent of a cable company. The way the startup conducts business has been deemed illegal, so its future is now unclear.
“Today’s decision by the United States Supreme Court is a massive setback for the American consumer. We’ve said all along that we worked diligently to create a technology that complies with the law, but today’s decision clearly states that how the technology works does not matter. This sends a chilling message to the technology industry,” said Chet Kanojia, Aereo CEO and founder.
Kanojia points out that consumer access to free-to-air broadcast television is an essential part of the United States and that using an antenna to access such content is still something that over 60 million Americans do across the United States.
“And when new technology enables consumers to use a smarter, easier to use antenna, consumers and the marketplace win. Free-to-air broadcast television should not be available only to those who can afford to pay for the cable or satellite bundle,” he added, obviously upset with the decision that may shut down Aereo.
The company promises to continue to fight for its consumers, however, as well as for the innovative technologies that have a meaningful and positive impact on the world, just like the one it managed to create.
Aereo provides a service that consists of two parts. On the one hand, it provides a small antenna that is stored in one of its server farms, while on the other, it gives users access to a cloud storage service that works like a DVR.
The captured content is transcoded over the Internet and delivered to customers whenever they want.
Big networks have demanded that Aereo start paying royalties for the content, but the company said that there was no basis for that. Aereo had gone to court many times since it launched before agreeing to take the issue to the Supreme Court to settle things once and for all.
Much to its displeasure, the case has just been lost, something that many say will have a deep impact not only on how people watch content, but also on the cloud storage industry, which has already been suffering due to the revelations based on the NSA papers.