US channels retransmission service Aereo is being sued in Boston, following its launch in the city in May.
Traditional TV broadcasters have been seeking to get online subscriptions service Aereo stopped by US law courts since it first launched in New York last year, and Boston local channel WCVB has now launched a suit against it, according to numerous stateside reports.
WCVB, an ABC affiliate, alleges Aereo infringes its copyright by making copies on its server when retransmitting linear broadcast signals of channels such as ABC, CBS, PBS and Univision to consumers online.
“Aereo has no right, under any license or statue, to retransmit WCVB’s copyrighted programming,” its filing stated, US news outlets reported. “Other companies, such as cable, satellite and other telecommunications distributors obtain the consent of WCVB and pay WCVB to retransmit WCVB’s signal containing its programming. Aereo, by contrast, retransmits that same programming to its paying subscribers without permission from WCVB, in clear violation of federal and state law.”
Aereo, which counts IAC owner Barry Diller (pictured) among its investors, claims that because it issues subscribers miniature antennas it is legal. It has already won a significant case against the major US broadcasters in New York, though a copycat service, Aereokiller, was banned in California.
Aereo plans to launch in 22 US cities by the year-end.