October 24, 2014

In a significant win for the firm’s broadcasting clients, including Fox, in their long-running litigation against Aereo, Inc., U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan issued a preliminary injunction on October 23, 2014 that bars the online streaming service from retransmitting television broadcasts of live programming.  The ban is an extension of the U.S. Supreme Court’s precedent-setting decision in June that, by relaying live broadcasts, Aereo is in violation of U.S. copyright law.  Following that decision, Aereo had sought to use the Section 111 compulsory copyright license available to cable providers as a way to continue operating.  Judge Nathan’s ruling rejects that claim. “Aereo's argument suffers from the fallacy that simply because an entity performs copyrighted works in a way similar to cable systems it must then be deemed a cable system for all other purposes of the Copyright Act,” the judge wrote.

The team representing the broadcasters is led by Partner Richard L. Stone and includes Partners Amy M. GallegosMatthew E. Price and Julie A. Shepard and Associates Ethan A. Glickstein, Christopher S. Lindsay and Jennifer Wagman Njathi.  News of the decision was reported in media outlets, including The Hollywood Reporter, Variety, Bloomberg, Reuters and Law360 (subscription may be required).