In a decision keenly awaited by the broadcasting industry and those providing retransmission as well as cloud based services, the US Supreme Court has issued its ruling in the Aereo litigation. The Court has held by a 6-3 majority that Aereo's service, which provides theretransmission of free to air programmes, effected via individual antennae each establishing a one to one connection, constitutes a "public performance" and therefore infringes copyright.
The Court based its ruling on the similarities between Aereo's service, and that provided by traditional cable providers.
In reaching this decision, the Court took a narrow approach, explicitly stating that it had not considered any cloud services other than the specific system Aereo was using to re-transmit, so the ruling's implications for other cloud based service providers remains to be determined.
The legitimacy of the online retransmission of free to air content in the EU was addressed by the CJEU in TVCatchUp, in which it held that the online streaming of broadcasts, which viewers were already entitled to view, still constituted a "communication to the public" (which is somewhat different to the "public performance" rights under US law).
Since this ruling Aereo (as well as its compacting service FilmOnX) has indicated it intends to restart its online streaming service by seeking a compulsory copyright licence as a cable provider.
The full judgment can be found here.