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Following High Court Decision, Aereo Suspends Operations

Aereo, a Web service that provides television shows online, lost a Supreme Court case Wednesday, as the justices ruled it violates copyright law.
Andrew Burton
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Aereo, a Web service that provides television shows online, lost a Supreme Court case Wednesday, as the justices ruled it violates copyright law.

Aereo, the company that lets subscribers watch TV stations' video that it routes onto the Internet, has decided to suspend its operation.

The decision comes a few days after the Supreme Court handed the company a major loss by ruling that, like cable companies, it was performing the work of television networks publicly.

In a letter to its customers, Chet Kanojia said Aereo would suspend operation at 11:30 a.m. ET. on Saturday and "all of our users will be refunded their last paid month."

"The spectrum that the broadcasters use to transmit over the air programming belongs to the American public and we believe you should have a right to access that live programming whether your antenna sits on the roof of your home, on top of your television or in the cloud," Kanojia added.

As Bill reported on Wednesday, this was a closely watched case. The networks, for example, took this case so seriously they said they would consider abandoning over-the-air free broadcasting if they lost.

The court ruled in their favor. Aereo said it has decided to suspend operations while it consults "with the court and map out our next steps."

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Eyder Peralta is NPR's East Africa correspondent based in Nairobi, Kenya.

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