As big media continues to press its fight against Aereo in the courts, the little start-up is taking its case to the people.
Aereo, which distributes broadcast TV signals to consumers via the Internet -- much to the chagrin of Fox, CBS, ABC and NBC -- took out a full-page ad in the front section of Tuesday's New York Times defending its business against accusations of copyright theft.
The company, whose backers include media mogul Barry Diller, also took some shots at the broadcasters.
The advertisement came on the same day that Fox, a unit of Rupert Murdoch's News Corp., filed its appeal to a court ruling in favor of Aereo's service. The broadcast networks and their parent companies are trying to make the case that Aereo is illegally transmitting their content.
Aereo argues in court and in its ad that its service is the same as a pair of rabbit ears on a roof. The company goes on to say that broadcasters have free use of the airwaves in a "sweet deal" with the government and have now leveraged that into a new revenue stream via so-called retransmission consent fees from cable and satellite operators.