The Supreme Court will decide whether a startup company can offer live television broadcasts over the Internet without paying fees to broadcasters.
The high court agreed on Friday to hear an appeal from television broadcast networks in their attempt to shut down Aereo Inc., which takes free signals from the airwaves and sends them over the Internet to paying subscribers.
Broadcasters have sued Aereo for copyright infringement. The big networks have supplemented their advertising revenue with fees from cable and satellite TV companies for redistributing their stations to subscribers. If customers drop their pay-TV service and use Aereo, broadcasters would lose some of that revenue.
The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled last year that Aereo did not violate the copyrights of broadcasters with its service, but a similar service has been blocked by other judges.
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