Startup Aereo has been allowed to continue sending live TV programs to iPhones and other mobile devices in the New York City Area. Many networks had sued Aereo for copyright infringement, claiming that the company was illegally copying and then re-broadcasting their content.
U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan refused to grant the preliminary injunction brought today by the networks – including ABC, NBC, and CBS – to shut down Aereo while the original suit itself was heard by the courts.
“Plaintiffs have not shown a likelihood of success on the merits” of the case, said Judge Nathan. She admitted that Aereo’s practices could be unfair, reports Bloomberg, but that the law itself leaves her no option but to allow the company to continue to transmit for the length of time it takes for the actual trial to take place.
Aereo allows its customers to stream TV from various networks in the New York area to their iPhones, iPads, and computers, all for a monthly fee of $12. They company claims that it is merely offering an alternative platform for watching the programming, and that it is only renting the users its antenna. The broadcasters, of course, maintain that Aereo’s service is the same as a public performance of the material, which is an infringing use.
Surely the broadcasters will appeal the ruling, so Aereo’s currently bright outlook may sour, and soon.