WNET, PBS sue new streaming TV subscription service Aereo

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WNET and PBS are among broadcasters that filed one of two copyright infringement lawsuits Thursday (March 1) in Manhattan federal court against Aereo, a TV service that streams over-the-air channels to web-enabled devices, reports PaidContent.org, a news site covering the economics of digital content. Aereo, backed by media mogul Barry Diller, announced last month that it would use “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. The service, set to launch March 14 in Brooklyn, is similar to the recent ivi TV (Current, Oct. 4, 2010) in Seattle, which is currently mired in lawsuits. Aereo is attempting to sidestep ivi’s problems by using an array of antennae it has installed throughout the New York City market. The broadcasters’ lawsuit against Aereo disputes that legal loophole. In a response posted online, Aereo said in part, “Consumers are legally entitled to access broadcast television via an antenna and they are entitled to record television content for their personal use.”

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