Washington Journal of Law, Technology & Arts


Sam Méndez


Americans increasingly turn to the computer instead of the television to gain access to their favorite shows. With this in mind, Aereo allows its subscribers to stream broadcast television content to their computers, but does not compensate the broadcasters for these retransmissions. The broadcasters argue this violates their public performance right under the Copyright Act’s Transmit Clause, but because of Aereo’s curious technology platform, in which thousands of tiny antennas are each assigned to a unique subscriber, infringement is uncertain. The Supreme Court will soon hear American Broadcasting Companies, Inc. v. Aereo, Inc., arising out of the Second Circuit, and decide whether Aereo’s retransmissions on the Internet constitute public performances. This Article argues that Aereo is infringing the broadcasters’ public performance right and that by expanding on the earlier decision Cartoon Network LP, LLLP v. CSC Holdings, Inc., the Second Circuit misinterpreted the text and the spirit of the Copyright Act.

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