Today, Public Knowledge joined the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), and Engine Advocacy in filing an amicus brief in the Supreme Court's ABC v Aereo case.
The brief explains that the Second Circuit correctly ruled that Aereo's system of individual antennas and video streams allows individuals to make non-public transmissions of free broadcast channels.” The big question here is the distinction between “public” and a “private” performance,” said Jodie Griffin, Senior Staff Attorney at Public Knowledge. “Public performances fall under the scope of copyright; private ones do not.”
The following can be attributed to Jodie Griffin, Senior Staff Attorney at Public Knowledge:
“Aereo simply provides an antenna for viewers to privately transmit free over-the-air broadcast television signals. It does nothing more than make it easier for viewers to access already free broadcast service. Aereo's technology follows the letter of the law, and the lower court's decision upholding Aereo's legality fits with Congress's intent that copyright owners should have the right to license their content to cable and satellite TV providers, but not the right to control private, personal transmission by individuals.
“Copyright law is intended to give incentives for creativity while reserving many uses of creative works to the public. Aereo justifiably relies on the limitations of copyright to enable individuals to privately access free broadcast television signals. The Supreme Court should therefore affirm the Second Circuit's ruling that Aereo's service is not infringing.”
The filing can be found here.
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