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Internet TV viewers may want to watch Aereo business litigation

North Carolina viewers of videos on the Internet may be affected by the copyright violation fight being waged against start-up company Aereo by Sinclair Broadcast Group, Fox Broadcasting and Local TV. The business dispute is over Aereo's project of streaming broadcast television to consumers over their Internet connections. The latest legal action was taken in Utah, where Aereo just began offering service. The suit's allegations were similar to those made in earlier lawsuits against the new company in New York and Boston.

Although Aereo was a small concern next to the likes of Fox and Sinclair, it had a big name behind it in media mogul Barry Diller. The company provided broadcast TV signals to smartphones, tablets and Web-connected televisions. Customers paid a fee for a small antenna that could pick up broadcasters' signals. That antenna worked in concert with a cloud-based digital recording system that could hold as much as 40 hours of programming.

The fear among traditional broadcasters was that if Aereo's service became popular, the revenue the broadcasters received from pay-television distributors could be undercut. The plaintiffs in the case said that there was no amount of technical wizardry on the part of Aereo that would change fundamental copyright law stating that anyone wishing to retransmit copyrighted material could do so only with the copyright holders' permission.

Business litigation can be costly if not handled correctly. A North Carolina lawyer with a background in helping to resolve business disputes may be of service to companies affected by a breach of contract, deceptive trade practices or other corporate dispute. An attorney might be instrumental in helping to negotiate international business disputes with a foreign company before they turn into international business litigation.

Source: LA Times, "Fox, Sinclair and Local TV file suit against Aereo in Utah", Joe Flint, October 07, 2013

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