Even if you haven't heard of the upcoming Internet TV project Aereo, you can probably sympathize with the consortium of studios that isn't happy about a competitor profiting off of the content they worked hard to produce. A new lawsuit has been filed by Fox, 20th Century Fox, Univision, PBS and a few others against the company backed by billionaire IAC owner Barry Diller in a New York District Court over licensing and copyright violations. Aereo's business model is to pipe broadcast networks through a broadband connection and charge customers $12 a month for access starting March 14th. To borrow the language from the court documents legal paperwork (PDF): "Thus, for $12 a month, Aereo will provide unlimited streams of Plaintiffs' television broadcasts over the Internet in direct competition with Plaintiffs."
Now, we need to switch sides for a second. Aereo's business model does sound a little bit shady, but with the inevitable takeover of Internet TV, somebody's gotta push the boundaries, and maybe this lawsuit will open the debate about cable companies' fees and the value of intellectual property in the streaming era. But, more likely, it'll probably just result in Barry Diller coughing up a big settlement.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.