Jenner & Block

“Court to Determine the Fate of Broadcast Television,” Communications Lawyer

In this article, Jenner & Block Partner Jessica Ring Amunson examines implications of American Broadcasting Companies, Inc., et al. v. Aereo Inc, a case before the U.S. Supreme Court earlier this year that “could decide the continued viability of broadcast television.”  At issue was whether a company “’publicly performs’ a copyrighted television program when it retransmits a broadcast of that program to thousands of paid subscribes over the Internet.”  There was, as Jessie observed, “a tremendous amount at stake” in the case. Oral arguments were held in April and, in June, the Court ruled that Aereo’s method of transmitting broadcasts to subscribers – through individually assigned antennae – was a violation of copyright law.  The firm was counsel to some of the petitioners in the case.