White House recommends the Supreme Court rule against Aereo in April trial

Aereo has some formidable new opposition in the courts. According to Deadline, the White House has recommended that the Supreme Court rule against Aereo when broadcasters bring its service to trial this April. The administration made the recommendation in an amicus brief filed today, which argues that Aereo’s use of discrete antennas to record broadcast television for its customers does not change the fact that it is later retransmitting those recordings to the public. 

The Obama administration has filed an amicus curae (“friend of the court”) brief with the US Supreme Court, saying that it feels that web streamer Aereo must “obtain licenses to perform the copyrighted content on which its business relies.” While the administration can’t tell the court how to rule, the briefing is likely to set the tone for the hearing, set for April. The brief claims that Aereo “does not simply provide access to equipment or other property that facilitates customers’ reception of broadcast signals. Rather, respondent operates an integrated system — i.e., a ‘device or process’ — whose functioning depends on its customers’ shared use of common facilities.”

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