Justices rule for broadcasters
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that a startup Internet company has to pay broadcasters when it takes television programs from the airwaves and allows subscribers to watch them on smartphones and other portable devices.
The justices said by a 6-3 vote that Aereo Inc. is violating the broadcasters’ copyrights by taking the signals for free. The ruling preserves the ability of the TV networks to collect huge fees from cable and satellite systems that transmit their programming.
Had services such as Aereo been allowed to operate without paying for the programming, more people might have ditched their cable services, meaning broadcasters would have been able to charge less for the right to transmit their programs.