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Aereo, Again in Court, Dealt Another Setback by Federal Judge

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For anyone who thought they'd heard the last of Aereo after the Barry Diller-backed startup was ruled against by the Supreme Court in June, surprise, it's back. Yesterday Aereo was dealt another setback as U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan in New York denied the service's request to operate as a cable company. Aereo pinned its hopes on the Supreme Court repeatedly saying the service operated like a cable company, but Judge Nathan said that didn't make it a cable company.

Judge Nathan barred Aereo from streaming live television to subscribers nationwide, issuing a temporary order, and denied its motion that being prevented from doing so would constitute an irreparable harm to the company. Aereo was found by the Supreme Court to be infringing on copyrighted material by streaming it, so it didn't matter whether or not the company was harmed by not doing so.

The judge didn't stop Aereo from operating as a cloud DVR service, so it may have some room to carve out a new direction. Still not decided is whether or not Aereo infringes on copyrights by streaming programs after their initial broadcast. Also not decided is whether or not Aereo has already infringed on broadcaster copyrights. For that, expect to see Aereo in court yet again.

Judge Nathan's full 17-page decision is available as a PDF.

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