'Catch 22' generated by court, US copyright office
Aereo is "figuratively bleeding to death," according to a court filing made last night by the Supreme Court-impacted Internet video service. The filing cites "staggering costs" that it is still paying to stay alive as a business entity while the court and the US Copyright Office debate if it should be treated like a cable company, as the Supreme Court alluded in its ruling against Aereo.
Future of service unclear, with low adoption and very slow growth
Nascent television streamer Aereo appears to be in rough shape, above and beyond just the Supreme Court ruling, and US Copyright Office declarations. The company's subscriber numbers are dismal, with a total of 77,596 subscribers at the end of 2013, making it unclear what traction the service may have if it continues operation, or has to raise its rates in the wake of defeats it has been dealt recently.
Analysts believe it could take 20 years to solve data search and seizure issues
Last month, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) ruled that law enforcement agencies would need a warrant to access information on a cell phone in criminal cases. While the ruling was thought to be an outright win for privacy, it appears that the fight isn't over yet. Law enforcement agencies and advocacy groups are decrying the ruling, believing the need for a warrant to search held devices to be too strong a requirement. Analysts, on the other hand, believe that the fight could take 20 years to sort out.
Joint letter suggests Aereo wants cable company-style licenses following Supreme Court decision
Aereo may have found a way to it to continue offering a service to subscribers with the key lying in the recent Supreme Court decision against the start-up. In a joint letter filed with the US District Court, the company claims that, since the Supreme Court ruled it operated as if it is a cable company, it should be eligible to the same statutory licenses cable companies use.
Start-up continues to fight courts, broadcasters over Aereo legality
Aereo is continuing its fight against broadcasters, after temporarily shutting down following a decision by the Supreme Court, by asking affected users to complain to lawmakers. An e-mail sent by Aereo founder and CEO Chet Kanojia sent out today calls for users to vent their frustrations at representatives, with the aim of changing the law to allow the start-up to continue operating.
Users to be refunded last month of service, future of company in danger
In the fallout of the anti-Aereo Supreme Court decision, founder and CEO Chet Kanojia has emailed customers, declaring that while consulting with the courts, the television streaming service must shut down. Users will only be able to access the cloud-based antenna and DVR until 11:30 EST today.
Physical aspects can be examined, but 'data on the phone can endanger no one'
In a ruling from the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) this morning, judges declared unanimously that warrants are necessary to search cell phones. Previously when police arrested individuals, officers were allowed to seize items on the person or nearby as evidence. With the ruling, law enforcement can inspect the phone's exterior, but none of the information within it without obtaining a warrant.
Cloud-based DVR service should pay licenses to broadcasters, rules Supreme Court
Aereo has lost its battle against broadcasters, after the US Supreme Court ruled against the start-up. In a 6-3 ruling, the court states the company violates copyright law by streaming recordings of TV shows to its subscribers, classifying the streams as "public performances" and so requires that Aereo pay content licenses to broadcasters for their programming.
Is a warrantless cellphone search a Fourth Amendment violation?
This iteration of the US Supreme Court gathering has not only heard the Aereo case, but also a pair of cases discussing the requirements of police officers searching suspects' phones. Two cases heard before the court this week -- one involving a flip phone, the other a smartphone -- were heard back-to-back on Tuesday, with the need for a warrant to search a person's phone being the centerpiece of both hearings.
New rulings make it easier for baseless claim filers to be penalized
The US Supreme Court has ruled in a pair of cases which will enable companies who win patent lawsuits to more easily collect fees from the filer. The rulings are aimed at non-practicing entities, also known as "patent trolls," and are aimed at recovering expenses from cases with little or no merit. Apple filed its own brief with the Supreme Court about the case. The Cupertino manufacturer noted in its filing that it settled 51 out of 57 filed cases, saying that "the opening line of many negotiations is some form of, 'What we're asking for is less than it will cost you to litigate this case to judgment.'"
Is the US judiciary serving the people to the best of its ability?
It can be argued that we're always on the cutting edge of technology -- every day there are new advances, and new techniques developed to do legacy tasks some other way. Likewise, hardly a day goes by without a new lawsuit from an entrenched company, claiming that this new way somehow infringes upon, or unfairly penalizes, an old-guard way of doing business. This seems to be the way of things, but as technology marches on, our judicial system doesn't seem to be able to keep in step.
Relatively minor suit could set the stage for patent law's future
For the first time in over three decades, the US Supreme Court is hearing significant arguments on whether "computer-implemented inventions," otherwise known as software, can be patented. The debate will center around what qualifies for a patent, centering on a debate about a computer system used to handle financial transactions, evaluating risks of default. Despite the suit itself being relatively small, the ruling will set precent for patent law for decades to come.
Clone refill chip manufacturer allowed to seek redress for Lexmark actions
The Supreme Court of the US has ruled against Lexmark, allowing a company it filed a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) against erroneously to seek legal recompense. The unanimous ruling will allow chip manufacturer Static Control Components (SCC) to seek redress against Lexmark for tarnishing its business reputation, when Lexmark falsely induced consumers "to believe that [SCC] is engaged in illegal conduct."
Hearing evaluating two cases with evidence gained at core of trials
Earlier this week, the US Supreme Court decided to hear a case regarding law enforcement officials being allowed to perform a warrantless search of contents of mobile phones held by arrested suspects, and use of the attendant evidence gathered in prosecution of other crimes. The court is evaluating two separate cases, each with an opposing view on the matter, but which have a common thread -- in both cases, evidence found on the smartphone searched without a warrant was key to the prosecution of the individual arrested.
Companies call for clarity from the court
The US Supreme Court has decided to hear a patent-infringement case that calls into question the validity of patent protection for certain software features. In the legal battle fought between Alice Corporation and CLS Bank International, in which the former alleges violation of a software patent related to financial transactions, lower courts have failed to reach a consensus regarding the technology's patent eligibility.
Decision effectively upholds existing law
The US Supreme Court has declined to hear a legal challenge against New York's sales-tax law for online purchases, according to a Reuters report. Retailers Amazon and Overstock had asked the court to determine if the tax regulations violate the Constitution, however the decision effectively upholds the New York Court of Appeals' March ruling that sided with the state.
Corporate amicus curae brief filed with Supreme Court
Apple is joining with at least 60 other large corporations in submitting a filing to the Supreme Court in support of extending marriage rights to gay people and against California's Proposition 8, continuing the iPhone maker's long record of supporting equal rights for homosexual couples. Other "friend of the court" filings are coming from diverse sources, including one that includes over 75 well-known Republican leaders -- including New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and Utah Governor Jon Huntsman, among others.
New ruling removes textbook copy fees, video game music tax
The Supreme Court of Canada issued a sweeping set of rulings in the five copyright cases it heard last December, including a case covering iTunes store song sample length. The court has affirmed that "fair dealing" ("fair use" in the US) must be interpreted on the side of the user, and not on the side of copyright holders, except in the case of extreme abuse of the fair dealing statute. In the same session, the court ruled that supplemental taxes applied on downloadable video games weren't a legal "communications" tariff.
Previously lowered then reinstated damages award upheld
The Supreme Court has declined to hear an appeal against a $675,000 damages award to the RIAA and Sony in a file-sharing trial, reports Wired. Attorneys for Joel Tenenbaum, formerly a Boston college student, argued the defendant should be protected against "unrestrained discretionary jury damage awards against individual citizens for copyright infringement," but was denied by the court without further comment.
Supreme Court demands warrants on GPS searches
The US Supreme Court in a ruling (PDF) has decided that warrantless use of GPS to track suspects is illegal. A unanimous vote determined that attaching a GPS unit to a car or otherwise tracking suspects by GPS without consent would violate the Fourth Amendment's blocks against unreasonable search and seizure. Justices were split evenly as to why, arguing equally that attaching a tracking device by itself and the violations of privacy expectations were at fault.
Customers forced to use arbitration for disputes
The Third US Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia ruled late Wednesday that Verizon Wireless customers must use arbitration to resolve disputes over alleged fraudulently made telephone calls rather than resort to class action. In ruling this way, the court reversed itself on a decision it had made last year in favor of the customers. The court cited a recent Supreme Court decision as the basis for its shift in attitude.
Supreme Court says games backed by 1st Amendment
The US Supreme Court determined in a ruling (below) that video games were protected by the First Amendment of the Constitution. It struck down a California law that banned renting or selling games to those under 18. Judge Scalia and four supporting judges determined that games, like books, movies, and plays, get a message across through "fammiliar literary devices" and can't be censored solely because it contained violence.
Solicitor General files amicus brief
Although the Supreme Court has yet to hear formal arguments in the patent infringement dispute between Microsoft and Canadian developer i4i, the government appears to be supporting earlier rulings against the Redmond-based software giant. Acting Solicitor General Neal Katyal has filed an amicus brief that backs the lower court's decision.
Supreme Court overrules AT&T privacy rights
The Supreme Court has ruled on Tuesday that AT&T and other corporations will be required to disclose federal government records. The ruling was unanimous and overturned a ruling by a US appeals court in favor of AT&T, according to reports. The court agrees with the Obama administration's stance that personal privacy exemption under the Freedom of Information law applied to individuals and not corporations.
Court Rebuffs Porn Law
The US Supreme Court today rejected an appeal by the Justice Department to uphold the Communications Decency Act. The law, first put into place in 1998, was intended to force adult-oriented sites to use logins or payment to prevent unintentionally exposing children to sexual material. The Supreme Court has ruled the law unconstitutional for violating free speech rights by dictating too broadly how site owners present their content.