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First off Jonathan Handel at The Hollywood Reporter Esquire reports that Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito has rejoined the Aereo case, from which he had previously recused himself, eliminating the possibility of a 4-4 tie.
Aereo is a TV streaming service that uses a series of tiny antennas, one per customer, to capture over-the-air broadcast television and stream it to customers over the Web. Broadcasters have sued Aereo across multiple jurisdictions, leading to split rulings on the legality of the service.
The case is now heading to the Supreme Court, which is scheduled to hear arguments on the 22nd, but Justice Alito had recused himself from the case for unknown reasons. This left open the possibility of a 4-4 split that could have left intact all of the disparate lower court rulings. His return means a tie is not possible though the outcome of the case is still far from certain.
Next up today, in other Aereo news, Katy Backhman at Adweek reports that the TV streaming startup has also launched a new consumer-oriented website that aims to educate the public about what it sees as the legal stakes and arguments at work in the case.
The site, protectmyantenna.org, compares Aereo to the Sony Betamax, which won a famous Supreme Court decision that made home video recorders legal and says that a loss for Aereo could have broader implications for cloud computing.
The site also provides links to the various briefs and opinions in the case, including many of the amicus briefs that have been filed with the Supreme Court.
Finally today, Ernesto at Torrentfreak writes that Spotify is shutting down its peer-to-peer delivery network and switching to using just central servers for streaming music.
Previously, music that was played in Spotify came from either the central servers, a local cache on the computer or, in some cases, a peer-to-peer network that let users stream songs from other Spotify users. This allowed Spotify to reduce its bandwidth costs and deliver streamed music quickly to its users.
However, Spotify now says it has reached a point where it no longer needs the peer-to-peer network and will be shutting down the feature. The shutdown should be transparent to Spotify’s users, who will instead continue to receive music from central servers and from their local cache.
That’s it for the three count today. We will be back tomorrow with three more copyright links. If you have a link that you want to suggest a link for the column or have any proposals to make it better. Feel free to leave a comment or send me an email. I hope to hear from you.
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