Once again, the Obama administration backs Big Business against the rights of the people.
A service called Aereo allows people to access their free local broadcasts delivered over the public airwaves:
Subscribers in the cities Aereo serves pay a minimum of $8 a month. That gives them exclusive access to one of its thousands of dime-sized antennas that pick up free, local, over-the-air broadcasts. The company then streams the live programming in the same local market to subscribers’ Web-connected TVs, computers, or mobile devices.
Cool, right? The Democrats in power don’t think so.
The big boys came out today on the side of the broadcasters in their upcoming appearance in front of the Supreme Court in the Aereo case. The solicitor general’s office put the Obama administration solidly in the anti-Aereo camp with a 40-page amicus brief (read it here) filed with the SCOTUS today. The broadcasters say that Aereo infringes on their copyrights by streaming their over-the-air signals without licenses or compensation. Aereo says that it simply leases out antennas and technology that consumers can already use to watch broadcast TV for free.
If the Obama administration gets its way, it would create a legal precedent that could endanger the ability of consumers to store and access music or videos from cloud storage destinations such as Google Drive. The division:
The American Cable Association, Computer and Communications Industry Association, Consumer Electronics Association, Consumer Federation of America, Consumers Union, Dish Network, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Engine Advocacy, Mozilla, Public Knowledge, and some small broadcasters all filed briefs backing Aereo.
Another hit to the middle class coming along depending on the Supreme Courts ruling on the Aereo case. As with Obamacare’s grant to insurance companies, the Obama administration is siding with the billion dollar corporations
Those against your right to access content on publicly owned airwaves through Aereo’s service include:
ASCAP, the Copyright Alliance, International Center for Law and Economics, Major League Baseball, National Association of Broadcasters, the NFL, SAG, Time Warner, Viacom, and the Washington Legal Foundation
The actual plaintiffs in the case:
Disney (ABC and Disney Enterprises), CBS (CBS Broadcasting and CBS Studios), Comcast (NBCUniversal Media, NBC Studios, Universal Network Television, and Telemundo Network Group), WNJU, WNET and Thirteen Productions, Fox (Fox Television Stations, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp), WPIX, Univision (Univision Television Group and the Univision Network Limited Partnership), and the Public Broadcasting Service.
Big Media over the average citizen.
The Obama administration is Aereo’s most powerful critic as the case approaches, with a brief submitted to the high court in March accusing the company of violating copyright law. A ruling against Aereo “need not threaten the legality of cloud computing,” the brief says, arguing that cloud-computing services providing access to legal content would be protected by law.
The brief comes from the office of Solicitor General Donald Verrilli, Jr., though he recused himself, and the U.S. Copyright office.