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Aereo Gets 14-Day Reprieve

According to court documents, a Utah judge has given Aereo a 14-day reprieve from his injunction while Aereo seeks a stay in the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals.

The court has granted the injunction last week on Fox's petition, saying Aereo was likely to lose on the merits and allowing it to continue operating was hurting copyright holders.

Fox had posted a $150,000 bond, the judge had signed a preliminary injunction, and that injunction was expected to have taken effect today.

But Judge Dale Kimball ruled Tuesday that although he was denying Aereo's request for a stay until Aereo's appeal in his court of his decision last week, he would grant Aereo's request for a temporary stay of 14 days so Aereo could seek the emergency appeal in the federal appeals court.

That means Aereo can continue to operate in Denver and Salt Lake City for at least two more weeks.

While Kimball said the court had not changed its mind about the need for the injunction and the harm Aereo was doing to copyright holders, he said that after balancing all the factors, it would grant the stay.

"While Aereo’s paying customers benefit from Aereo’s infringement in the form of lower subscription rates, the court assumes that they are mostly unaware of whether Aereo is abiding by governing copyright laws and paying the appropriate licensing fees to engage in such business. This confusion in the marketplace is part of the intangible harms to Plaintiffs," said Kimball. "The court also recognizes that harms are accruing to Plaintiffs every day and enforcement of the copyright laws is a clear public benefit to the public as a whole. The court, however, finds some benefit in allowing Aereo’s customers uninterrupted service pending the Tenth Circuit’s decision on an emergency motion to stay. Therefore, notwithstanding the many factors weighing against a stay, the court, in its discretion, grants Aereo a temporary 14-day stay."

Fox and other broadcasters say Aereo is stealing their copyrighted content, while Aereo says it is providing remote access to off-air antennas and recording functionality.