Aereokiller has taken a legal body blow as a U.S. District Court in Los Angeles has granted a preliminary injunction against the television internet streaming service. Four broadcast networks — FOX, NBC, CBS and ABC — had asked the court to enjoin Aereokiller from providing their copyrighted content through its service, which they claimed violated their right of public performance. U.S. District Judge George W. Wu agreed with them.
Aereokiller is a paid, subscription, net-streaming service that delivers network television programing via miniature antennae. Wu rejected the finding in Cartoon Network LP LLP v. CSC Holdings Inc., (Cablevision), where the Second Circuit held the internet transmission of a copy of a work, made at the direction of and solely for use by a single user, is not a public transmission, thereby not making it a public performance. Wu states that Second Circuit view has yet to be fully adopted in the Ninth Circuit, so his court could find defendant’s transmissions were public performances, and, therefore, infringing on Plaintiff’s exclusive right of public performance.
Aereokiller was created to be a thorn in the side of Aereo, a similar internet streaming service, in which Aereokiller’s mini antennae deliver content obtained by Aereo antennae. Aereo recently won a decision in the Second Circuit denying a preliminary injunction against them in July, 2012, as sought by the same TV networks. This decision against Aerokiller may mean that Aereo’s service will be confined to New York because of possible injunctive relief outside of its jurisdiction.