Aereo could be going to the Supreme Court. TV broadcasters have asked the high court to review a decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit that lets Aereo continue operating while a trial over its legality plays out. The broadcasters wanted the appeals court--and has now asked the Supreme Court--to block Aereo from delivering its services during the trial.
It's not clear whether the Supreme Court will take the case. Though litigation between Aereo and broadcasters is playing out in several courthouses around the country--as are lawsuits between broadcasters and FilmOn X, an Aereo competitor with similar technology--the Supreme Court typically waits until cases are further along before stepping in.
"All things being equal, the Supreme Court prefers to take cases where the factual and legal arguments have been fully fleshed out below to avoid needing to hear the case a second time to fully resolve it," Guggenheim Partners analyst Paul Gallant wrote in a note to investors last week. Still, Gallant suggested the high court could deem the injunction appeal "ripe" for review based on the different ways lower courts have come down on whether Aereo's service constitutes an unlawful public performance of copyrighted material.
Broadcasters hit on that point in their petition to the Supreme Court. "The issue here is simply too consequential to allow the Second Circuit to operate with a different set of copyright rules from those envisioned by Congress and operative in the rest of the Nation," the petition said. "This Court's review is needed now."
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