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Thread: Impact of a negative Aereo decision on cloud storage providers

  1. #1

    Impact of a negative Aereo decision on cloud storage providers

    Can anyone explain this thrown-in paragraph at the end of Vox's "What is Aereo?" card by Timothy B. Lee? Seems like a very major point to gloss over like that. Nilay, Matt, anyone?
    "The case, which the Supreme Court is scheduled to hear on Tuesday, April 22, 2014, could have profound effects on the Internet economy. That's because the Cablevision decision is the legal foundation for cloud storage services like Dropbox and Amazon Cloud Player. A loss for Aereo could call the legality of those services into question."






  2. #2
    VoxMediaUser604384

    Bottom line: holders have a bunch of rights. One of those rights is the exclusive right to public performance and rebroadcasting.
    The services mentioned have online players for audio files that YOU have uploaded.
    So, say you have an mp3 for Song X. You put it into your cloud player app of choice. It is uploaded to the server from your desktop. You then take your laptop to your mom’s house for dinner and listen to X there, via their wifi, using that cloud player. Legally speaking, that process has resulted in a copy and public performance/rebroadcast of X. And because it was a song you uploaded, who the hell knows if your cloud player of choice has a license with the relevant rights holders to do that kind of thing?

  3. #3
    Modred189 got it right. Basically Aereo wants to be portrayed as a cloud storage provider a la Dropbox but geared toward broadcast TV. The idea being (in the case of Aereo / Dropbox) that a consumer is uploading material they have the right to (an over-the-air broadcast / mp3 file) to a private space hosted by a third party (Aereo’s DVR / Dropbox’s storage locker) which is later transmitted back to the consumer at their request. If Aereo has to pay license royalties for transmitting content legally owned by their customers Dropbox and alike services would have to do the same for every copyrighted file they store thus grinding cloud services to a halt.
    Now obviously this comparison paints Aereo in a very favorable light as no one wants to force Dropbox or Microsoft or Google or Apple or any other cloud storage service to get the rights to transmit whatever random copyrighted file someone uploads to their servers. However, because over-the-air broadcasts have special treatment in the Copyright code, it is probable that the Supreme Court will view Aereo in a different light and rule narrowly on this case so as to avoid any ill effects on cloud storage services with other types of copyrighted content.



  4. #4
    VoxMediaUser604384

    Also, Nilay is gone. No more staff IP attorneys at The Verge anymore, afaik…



  5. #5
    Seriously, I didn’t see a peep about the Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank patent case a few weeks ago; which frankly I think is much bigger than Apple v. Samsung or Aereo. I hope they find someone to at least consult while he’s gone.



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