Aereo expands into Cincinnati as New York litigation gets technical

Aereo is continuing to push into new territories as the judicial system prepares to settle a lawsuit over whether the service it offers complies with copyright law. The company began offering online access to local TV stations in Cincinnati, Ohio, Tuesday.

Aereo Cincinnati map

Aereo posted its Cincinnati coverage area on its website.

The announcement came Jan. 17, a week after the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear a challenge brought by TV station owners to a series of rulings in lower courts that have been favorable to Aereo. The high court's move to take the case has put several other Aereo-related lawsuits on pause. Broadcasters had sued Aereo in federal courts as it continued to expand into new states and jurisdictions. But the company began asking judges to stay those cases until the Supreme Court rules shortly after the high court agreed to hear the broadcasters' appeal.

Not every case is on hold. The case before the Federal District Court for the Southern District of New York (where a ruling on a preliminary injunction set off the series of events that led to the Supreme Court's action Jan. 10) still awaits a judge's ruling on whether to stay proceedings completely.

In a letter to the judge submitted Tuesday, lawyers for WNET and Fox argued that four expert depositions should be allowed to proceed while the rest of the case is put on a hiatus. They argued that testimony from four technical experts on the functionality of Aereo's antenna system should not wait for the Supreme Court's ruling. 

"In the unlikely event that the Supreme Court adopts Aereo's interpretation of the Transmit Clause,a trial will still be necessary because the Plaintiffs can prove that Aereo's antennas do not function independently but in fact operate as a community antenna, which no one can dispute requires a license," they wrote. "Whether or not Aereo's antennas operate independently or as a community antenna is an objective fact that is not going to change based on how the Supreme Court rules," they said. 

For its part Aereo argued all proceedings should be stayed until the Supreme Court issues an opinion. "The Supreme Court's decision will likely narrow, moot or otherwise alter issues directly relevant to the experts in this case," it said.

For more:
- read the press release 
- and this letter (.pdf)

Related articles:
Aereo to get Supreme Court review 
Aereo raises another $34M 
Sports leagues support broadcasters in Aereo fight

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