Aereo closes Boston offices, but reveals Plan B

by
in legal on (#2TYD)
story imageThe court cases (and defeats) keep coming, and to the naked eye it might look like Aereo could be folding for good. The closure of their Boston offices looks bad - but according to Aereo, it's a sign of their determination to continue, despite loss of funding. There is reason to be optimistic.

With a little help from regulators, Aereo finally has a plan B. The FCC itself is considering a redefinition of broadcasting to include internet-based companies. It's possible this may have something to do with the confusion and questions that came up as a result of the Supreme Court ruling, but it might also be an attempt to encourage competition.

This proposal appears in an official FCC blog post by chairman Tom Wheeler, and is sure to provoke discussion and dismay among media corporations, especially considering that their stocks all fell more than 3% after the proposal was announced.

Only real-time broadcast TV? (Score: 3, Informative)

by evilviper@pipedot.org on 2014-11-07 20:27 (#2TYF)

Unfortunately, the FCC's proposal specifically only applies to "linear" video services... I.E. real-time continuous broadcasts.

That's some strange way of legislatively foisting the technological limitations of 1920s radio technology, upon the unsuspecting internet, where it makes no sense at all. Do you really want Netflix to look like cable, where there are channels just playing repeats of Law & Order every day, around-the-clock?

Broadcast video only makes sense for breaking news, sports, and just a few other live and ephemeral events. Otherwise, people have been spending money on DVRs and services like Netflix/Hulu and OnDemand for DECADES, trying hard specifically to rid themselves of such "appointment TV" limitations.

Of course the possibility is that once internet video services get their foot in the door, court challenges will later allow them to do OnDemand like their cable TV brethren. And perhaps the laws allowing the FCC to regulate the likes of Aereo, Netflix and Hulu to ensure their software isn't anti-competitive and excluding people.

But things might go the other way, too, with internet video services only getting a fair deal with linear video, and the current trend of on-demand binge watching slowly fading away, or perhaps being the domain of only proper cable TV services, without the government oversight to impose CableCard compatibility so consumers can buy DVRs for these new services, as we reminisce about the "good old days" before the FCC killed-off time-shifting (they tried to do so, before, with the "broadcast flag" rules)...
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