Why the Aereo Decision Bites for Tech

Paul, General Counsel at Automattic, with some thoughts on the recent ruling against Aereo. As always, great stuff!

The Old Fashioned

SCOTUS handed down its long awaited decision in Aereo yesterday, and the result, in favor of the traditional broadcasters, didn’t surprise me.

Still, the logic the majority used to reach its decision was troubling, especially if you’re a young, upstart technology that’s building a new, innovative service. The Court’s opinion completely glossed over Aero’s technology — which was pretty specifically designed to stay within existing copyright law.

“Viewed in terms of Congress’ regulatory objectives, why should any of these technological differences matter?”

This is a lazy line of reasoning, with unfortunate consequences. Especially in an era when the newest, most innovative technologies blur the lines between broacasting, phone calls, TV shows, computers, movies…and give consumers a multiplicity of new choices in the process. Contrary to the court’s opinion, technology matters a great deal. New technologies will always push the envelope of the law, and in some cases intentionally exploit…

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