Aereo Ruling – Opportunity for Broadband Providers?

“Over the next few years, expect to see more Congressional hearings and, maybe, an uptick in FCC activity depending upon who the next [FCC] Chairman is,” said Barbara Esbin of the law firm, Cinnamon Mueller. She was speaking at the 2013 MTA Convention regarding video programming access by cable and telephone operators and, even though there might be more attention to the issues surrounding video programming access, she cautions about expecting much action from Congress or the FCC.

In the above video interview, Esbin also summarizes some recent developments in the courts with regards to video programming access. She provides an overview of the Aereo court case. Aereo just won a major decision yesterday in the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. She suggests that there is a good chance that this case could go to the Supreme Court, given the Second Circuit’s split with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. In December, the Ninth Circuit Court granted broadcasters’ motion for a preliminary injunction against a similar service, FilmOn (also known as Aereokiller).

Out of this seeming chaos, Esbin indicates there could be opportunities for operators to fashion various hybrid services that respect copyright laws, while providing broadband providers another way to offer their customers a video solution. Her comments align with this week’s Wall Street Journal’s article that reported that major video distributors and Aereo have been in partnership discussions.

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