Over The Aereo

Barry Diller’s Aereo May Prevail Against Broadcasters on a Legal Technicality

Mr. Diller

Yesterday, U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan denied broadcasters’ request for a preliminary injunction on Aereo, a service backed by Barry Diller that lets users live-stream basic channels like NBC, CBS, ABC, and PBS, all of which are suing the startup.

The plaintiffs had requested an injunction to prohibit consumers from watching programming on Aereo until the broadcast had completed airing–knocking the wind out of the whole watch-it-live proposition. But the judge’s decision yesterday also offers a hint as to how other claims in the lawsuit may be decided.  Read More

Over The Aereo

Aereo Chief Was ‘Angry’ When He Spoke to Fox a Month Ago, Says Fox Exec

Mr. Kanojia.

A ruling is expected this afternoon in a lawsuit against Aereo, a potentially disruptive service that allows customers to stream broadcast television content without anyone, customers or Aereo, paying fees to broadcasters. The company is backed by more than $20 million from investors, including Barry Diller of IAC, who may be getting a little nervous: Today a Fox executive basically accused Aereo CEO Chet Kanojia of lying in court. Read More

Internet Wants to Be Free

FCC Chairman Says It’s Okay to Be Charged for the Amount of Broadband You Use

Misty, water-colored memories. (via geekosystem)

Sometime in the mid-nineties, my dad got an AOL account. Roughly two seconds after that, I fell down the rabbit hole of anonymous chat rooms and never quite got out–that is when I wasn’t getting the deadly, dreaded dial-up busy signal. AOL charged by the hour back then. Until the service switched to a flat monthly rate in October, 1996, the clock was always ticking, forcing you to make the Sophie’s Choice of where to spend your time online.

Now it seems the industry is heading back in that direction. Not by-the-hour, mind you, but a usage-based pricing model that would prompt viewers to consider whether, say, spending the weekend watching Friday Night Lights on Netflix is really worth it. (Answer: Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose.) Read More

Cordcutting

Over the Aereo: Killer Diller Just Might Help Viewers Cut the Cord At Last

Picture 64

The sun was still setting when The Observer rounded the corner under The High Line for IAC’s Internet Week closing party, co-hosted by Aereo, a provocative new startup that will allow users to view broadcast content on their computers, smartphones and tablets. Off the drab West Side Highway, the Frank Gehry-designed building shimmered like a landing dock for a space ship–as if the top could twist off and whir its way into the atmosphere. Will Arnett and Wilmer Valderrama walked the red carpet. Dolled-up in pale pink, Allison Williams (the Miranda to Lena Dunham’s Carrie) took Barry Diller’s elbow as she navigated the crowd.

As the origin myth has it, Mr. Diller’s transformation from a Hollywood mogul to Internet soothsayer for this new digital era started with an Apple PowerBook. “No question that his relationship with his little screen, which is irritating to everybody in the room, has altered his life,” his closest confidante and now wife Diane von Furstenberg told The New Yorker some years back.

It was the early ’90s—right around the time Rupert Murdoch refused to make Mr. Diller a principal at Fox, the fabled fourth network Mr. Diller pioneered when competitors insisted that three would do just fine. Read More

Most Fashionable Techies

Well-Dressed Entrepreneurs Enchant AskMen

Fashion icon? (flickr.com/shankbone)

Dapper dudes, unite: AskMen published a slideshow today of the “Most Stylish Entrepreneurs,” and many fashionable New York businessmen made the list. Hey, at least we’re finally objectifying dude techies the same way we usually do ladies?

“Here is what happens when ambition meets fashion,” declared AskMen in a post partially sponsored by Dell. You’re totally dying to know who made the list, right? Read More

Over The Aereo

Broadcasters Want Aereo Gone and They Want It Gone Yesterday

438px-Barry_Diller_Shankbone_Metropolitan_Opera_2009-219x300

The Aereo legal saga continues. Not content to wait for a decision regarding their ongoing lawsuit, the Hollywood Reporter reports that broadcasters want a preliminary injunction against Aereo and they want it now. That means they have to prove “a likelihood of success and the prospect of irreparable injury.” The tone of the legal proceedings, therefore, have taken on something of an apocalyptic cast.

Their argument goes that the company’s mere existence is enough to threaten broadcasters’ business model. From the tone of statements earlier this week, they’re about ready to go looking for Aereo’s plug if the judge doesn’t do something, anything, to take care of this. If Aereo gets away with their over-the-air workaround, cable and satellite distributors won’t be so willing to shell out for retransmission rights. And that means television may never be the same again. They do understand that sounds like a good thing, right?  Read More

Cordcutting

Testify! Barry Diller Tells Congress to Rewrite Net Neutrality Laws So They Don’t Favor Broadcast and Cable Companies

438px-Barry_Diller_Shankbone_Metropolitan_Opera_2009-219x300

IAC/InterActive Corp chairman Barry Diller testified before the Senate Commerce Committee today about the future of online video. We can’t believe someone thought this was a legitimate question in the era of Netflix and Hulu, but the hearing was actually called “The Emergence of Online Video: Is it the Future?” Then we remembered who was asking.

“Incumbents have the means and incentives to engage in economic and/or technical discrimination against online video distributors,” Mr. Diller told lawmakers, referring to our cable and broadband overlords. To level the playing field, he said, “I think you need to rewrite the [Telecommunications] Act of ’96. It’s overdue given the Internet. And it needs revision.” Congress, he added, should “prevent cable and telecommunications companies from leveraging their dominance in existing markets” to control emerging technologies. Read More

Cordcutting

In Counterclaim Against TV Networks, Aereo Compares Itself to the Advent of the VCR and DVD

via VentureBeat

Perhaps it’s public posturing in advance of its Wednesday launch, but Aereo couldn’t seem less bothered about the two copyright infringement lawsuits the startup is currently facing in the Southern District of New York. Case in point, yesterday afternoon Aereo filed a breezy counterclaim–not countersuit as reported elsewhere–against ABC, CBS, Disney, NBC, Universal, Telemundo, and more.

(If you’re playing catch-up with our coverage, here’s a quick primer: 1. For only $12/month, the Long Island City-based startup Aereo lets users live-stream and record broadcast TV to any mobile device. Because the startup also incorporates Hulu and Netflix and doesn’t require any additional devices or dongles, the IAC/Interactive-backed company makes cord-cutting even more of a reality.  2. Broadcasters no likey. On March 1st, two groups of broadcasters filed suit for copyright infringement.) Read More

Cordcutting

Unperturbed By Double Lawsuits, Barry Diller Predicts Aereo Will Live-Stream Broadcast TV In Up to 100 Cities This Year

via Wikimedia

Aereo, the IAC-backed startup that uses thumb-sized antennae to live-stream–and record!–broadcast TV, Hulu, and Netlix to any mobile device, isn’t even technically available for another couple days. But that hasn’t stopped IAC chairman Barry Diller from thinking big.

At a keynote address at SXSW yesterday, Mr. Diller predicted that Aereo, which will be available in New York City starting March 14th, will be in 75 to 100 cities within the year. That chipper, can-do attitude extended to Aereo’s competitors as well.

“I completely understand their motivation. It’s going to be a great fight,” Mr. Diller said of the two-fold lawsuits from broadcasters like CBS, NBC, FOX, ABC, CW, and PBS alleging copyright violations. Read More

Cordcutting

Aereo, the Barry Diller-Backed Service to Stream Live TV, Responds to Lawsuit From NY TV Stations

areo

Two sets of New York-based broadcast TV stations filed complaints yesterday against Aereo, a new startup that streams live TV from major networks like CBS, NBC, FOX, ABC, CW, and PBS, as well as other local channels to any mobile device. The lawsuits, which ask for injunctive relief and damages, argue that Aereo rebroadcasts their TV programming without licensing or consent. (The fact that Aereo, which launches March 14th, charges only $12/month probably doesn’t sit well with them either.)

As AllThingsD’s Peter Kafka explained, Aereo knew these copyright challenges were coming, which is partly why the company recently raised a sizable $20.5 million series A round led by IAC, with participation from existing investors like FirstMark Capital and First Round Capital. Aereo’s position is that its service is legal because the company issues every user their own (thumbnail-sized) antenna, stored in a local warehouse. By structuring it that way, they claim that it’s consumers accessing the content, not Aereo. Read More