Aereo, a recent internet start-up that rents roof space on local buildings to place small antenna’s to capture and stream local TV broadcasts to your device’s over the internet has come under attack by major broadcast corporations. Time reports that the major companies such as NBC are angry that Aereo pays nothing for retransmission fees for the public broadcasts but charges their users $8-12 a month for the service.
According to Time, retransmission fees are a huge business for over-the-air broadcasters. About $4 billion a year are spent by cable companies to rebroadcast the streams over their networks in order to offer the services to their customers. Aereo argues that they don’t rebroadcast in the same way, they just provide an antenna for users to stream shows from over the internet when they don’t have easy access to them. TV providers argue that they discourage company’s from broadcasting content such as sports on their networks and could hurt business.
While over-the-air broadcasting isn’t as popular as it once was, for people cutting the cable, it is an essential source for news and several popular TV shows such as The Big Bang Theory. Aereo’s remote DVR service for the streams should be protected, but Time quotes that “The Aereo case puts the cloud at risk because when broadcasters have complained about Aereo, their complaints also describe cloud computing,” (Matt Schruers, Vice President for Law & Policy at the Computer & Communications Industry Association).