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Supremes To Hear Aereo Case April 22

The Supreme Court has scheduled an oral argument in the Aereo case for April 22 at 11 a.m.

Initial briefs are due at the end of this month in the case, according to a source familiar with the schedule. The case is an appeal of a Second Circuit decision not to enjoin Aereo from delivering TV station signals over the Internet without paying broadcasters.

A district court has yet to decide on the merits of broadcasters' challenge to the service, and there is not a split with another federal circuit, but the high court apparently concluded it was ripe for a decision.

Both broadcasters and Aereo supported the Supreme Court weighing in to resolve the dispute, which revolves around whether Aereo is providing subscribers remote (Internet) access to free TV signals recording functions they are entitled to, or are delivering a TV signal and a separate performance of copyrighted material that requires payment.

The answer could help shape the future of online video and copyright protections.

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.