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Federal Court Rejects Aereo's Request To Be Considered A Cable Company

[Image: Flickr user Rusty Clark]

When the Supreme Court ruled that Aereo, the controversial retransmission platform that made it possible to watch network television anywhere, anytime, was in violation of federal copyright, CEO Chet Kanojia said, "We are disappointed in the outcome, but our work is not done." Aereo voluntarily shut itself down soon thereafter.

But the service later submitted a request to continue not as a platform, but as a cable company—a request that, if granted, would have allowed it to pay lower transmission fees to broadcasters.

That request was denied. According to the Washington Post, Aereo was turned down by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday. Brian Fung of the Post writes that the court is "effectively telling Aereo that if it wants to argue it's a cable company only for the purposes of copyright law… it's currently making the argument to the wrong people."

In June, when the Supreme Court handed down its ruling in favor of network broadcasters, Justice Stephen Breyer wrote in the majority decision that despite Aereo's workaround—which relied on tiny antennas to give subscribers a signal—it was still transmitting copyrighted content. "Insofar as there are differences, those differences concern not the nature of the service that Aereo provides so much as the technological manner in which it provides the service," he wrote at the time. "We conclude that those differences are not adequate to place Aereo's activities outside the scope of the [Copyright Act]."

Read the rest of the report at the Washington Post.