ArsTechnica: Supreme Court puts Aereo out of business1

Aereo, a TV-over-the-Internet startup whose legal battles have been closely watched, has been ruled illegal by the Supreme Court today.

I was disappointed by this ruling. Not so much because I have a legal opinion about the merits of the case, but because I am interested in seeing technological advances that help consumers survive.

For most people we just want an easy way to legally watch our favorite movies and tv shows. The answer seems obvious. Let us watch it online; let us select à la carte the channels we watch. I think we wanted Aereo to be the company that finally beat the the cable/satllite companies and the movie/tv studios, the company that liberated the way we watch our shows. But in the end Aereo couldn’t do it either.2

I suspect that the current regime of cable/satellite operators and the movie/tv studios will never fully adjust to the new model of how we want to watch our shows. They will never relinquish the grasp they have on their content libraries.

The only way our desires to view content in new ways will be satisfied is by firms that produce shows with the expressed purpose of making it available through new platforms.

I’m looking at you Netflix.

What we wanted Aereo to be

  1. I’m a little late writing my thoughts up on this. This story is from 25 June 2014.

  2. It also seemed ridiculous that the success of their business model was predicated on the need to buy a tiny little antenna for each of their customers. This is an example of laws not keeping pace with technology.

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