Broadcasting giant Barry Diller spoke up in defense of the new subscription streaming TV service Aereo, which his company is backing, during a panel at the SXSW Film Festival Sunday (March 11). He’s looking forward to battling several broadcasters including WNET in New York and PBS, who have filed a copyright infringement suit against the service, which says it uses “proprietary remote antenna and DVR” technology to enable subscribers, for $12 a month, to watch over-the-air broadcasts on their smart phones, tablets and computers.
“It’s going to be a great fight,” Diller said in Austin.
“This is not some evil thing,” Diller said of Aereo, which is set to launch in the New York Market on Thursday (March 14). And the lawsuit “is absolutely predictable. Media companies have hegemony over it (broadcast TV) and they want to protect it.”
In their suit, the broadcasters say: “No amount of technological gimmickry by Aereo — or claims that it is simply providing a set of sophisticated ‘rabbit ears’ — changes the fundamental principle of copyright laws that those who wish to retransmit Plaintiffs’ broadcasts may do so only with Plaintiffs authority.”