It may not be curtains for internet television broadcasting company Aereo, which shut down last month following a ruling by the US Supreme Court that it violated the Copyright Act. In a new court filing today, the company says it believes it can operate once again, and within the confines of the Supreme Court decision by existing legally as a cable system instead of an equipment provider. Under current law, that would protect any transmissions it's picking up from being prohibited, the company wrote in a joint letter to US District Judge Alison Nathan.
A new classification for the company
"Under the Second Circuit's precedents, Aereo was a provider of technology and equipment with respect to the near-live transmissions at issue in the preliminary injunction appeal. After the Supreme Court's decision, Aereo is a cable system with respect to those transmissions," the company said in the letter. Therefore, it added, those signals would be protected as part of a "statutory license." Broadcasters who sued Aereo, said that they find this new legal plan and interpretation of the Copyright Act "astonishing."
Aereo launched in early 2012, and was quickly sued by broadcasters who took aim at its legality. The company's technology uses millions of dime-sized antennas to pick up over-the-air TV programming, then delivers it to people online. The company made money off premium plans that offered extra features like DVR and multichannel recording before shutting down late last month. Since then, the company's attempted to overturn the Supreme Court ruling by calling on consumers to get in touch with members of Congress.