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NAB States Aereo Case

RELATED: Fox Stations Face New D.C. Fight

Broadcasters have joined together to fight Barry Diller and company over Aereo TV. Diller calls Aereo an antenna farm delivering DVR-able Web versions of over-the-air broadcasts subscribers are entitled to. Broadcasters see it as one more threat to their business model. We asked National Association of Broadcasters president Gordon Smith for a condensed version of their beef.

Why isn’t Aereo TV just a new-tech way of delivering over-the-air signals to consumers entitled to them?
Gordon Smith: Aereo is attempting to circumvent copyright law by retransmitting legally protected broadcast TV content without obtaining proper licenses from content owners. By charging subscribers a fee, Aereo seeks to profit from copyright owners’ investment in popular programming without paying just compensation. [NAB’s] win in this case will preserve the rights of content creators and protect their copyrighted work from those trying to illegally profit from them.

What would be the consequences to over-the-air TV if broadcasters lose this suit?
Smith: Obviously, the consequences of an unfavorable ruling would be negative. But we’re cautiously optimistic that broadcasters will prevail, because we think the networks have a compelling case.