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Megan McArdle

Aereo Fought the Law and the Law Won

Aereo cannot stream broadcast television to thousands of users over the Internet. Though the ruling may be a loss to economic analysis, it’s not exactly a surprise. 
Aereo Chief Executive Officer Chet Kanojia.
Aereo Chief Executive Officer Chet Kanojia.

I'm a bit disappointed in today's U.S. Supreme Court ruling on Aereo Inc.'s copyright case, though not for the same reason as Aereo users. Broadcasters were threatening to stop broadcasting their content if Aereo was allowed to keep retransmitting it for free, and I was really looking forward to seeing whether they would make good on their threat. I was pretty sure that this was PR posturing for the sake of influencing the court. But I wasn't entirely sure, and that little bit of uncertainty promised to make things interesting for the next few weeks.

Alas, it was not to be. Today's ruling says that no, Aereo cannot stream broadcast television to thousands of users over the Internet. We will never know if Fox would really have stomped its foot and left the airwaves.