In a 6-3 decision, the Supreme Court held that the actions of Aereo, a start-up streaming service, violated copyright laws by capturing broadcast signals for free on miniature antennas and delivering them to subscribers for a fee.
The major television broadcasters brought the challenge, claiming that Aereo was in effect stealing content from the broadcast airwaves and enabling customers to view that content at just about real time.
NABET-CWA President Jim Joyce said the Aereo decision is an important victory that protects the jobs of broadcast industry workers, and benefits consumers too. "Aereo sought to transmit copyrighted works to the public without payment of any license fees, threatening the core business model for television networks like ABC, CBS, NBC, and FOX, where our members work. Our members' jobs depend on that current model, and these licensing fees help pay for their salaries and benefits."
Consumers will benefit as the networks use the revenues from the licensing fees to invest in production, so that audiences can continue to enjoy high-quality, over-the-air programming, he said. NABET-CWA had signed on to an amicus brief – also called "friend of the court" brief – to weigh in on this case. The union represents about 8,600 workers in broadcast and cable television.