Aereo, a media company that offers broadcast programming via the Internet, scored a victory in what promises to be a long legal battle with CBS, NBC, ABC, Fox and other broadcasters.
On Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan of the Southern District of New York denied a request from a coalition of broadcasters seeking a preliminary injunction against Aereo, which launched last spring in New York City. The broadcasters are arguing that Aereo's retransmission of their signals is a violation of copyright law.
Aereo, whose backers include media mogul Barry Diller, is a distribution service that provides access to broadcast TV signals via smartphones, tablets and Internet-friendly TVs. Aereo provides a tiny antenna that can pick up the signals of broadcasters. The company charges $12 a month and in return customers get the antenna and a digital video recorder in the sky that can hold up to 40 hours of programming.
While Nathan said the broadcasters showed that their business could be harmed by Aereo, she said Aereo's service does not violate copyright law.