December 30, 2014
Aereo, a startup that captured the over-the-air cable TV and allowed users to watch it on their devices, tablets, PCs and phones for a subscription fee has filed for a Chapter 11 bankruptcy in November 2014 which was approved on December 29th. Aereo will be stripped into parts and sold to the highest bidder in an auction.
Aereo wasn’t paying licensing fees to the content owners and because they were leasing their own unique OTA antenna to each user for content that was broadcast over the air for free, Aereo figured what they were doing was technically not illegal.
But the Supreme Court disagreed. After it said that Aereo was violating the copyright laws, it’s serviced stopped instantly. Manhattan’s US Bankruptcy court Judge Sean Lane signed off on the rules governing the auction along with a caveat: any sale that Aereo does in the meantime has to be approved by the angry broadcasters who shut it down in the first place.
The case concerning the damages to the broadcasters is now in a lower court. Aereo might have to pay millions in damages to the concerned broadcasters.
Broadcasters have 2 weeks from February 24, the day the auction goes down, to decide if they’re ok with the highest bidder to ensure that the bidder wouldn’t turn around and use the technology to infringe again.
Currently there are 17 bidders who are interested in the technology that Aereo has to offer.