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First off today, Joe Flint and Ryan Faughnder at the LA Times report that the U.S. Supreme Court has announced it will hear Aereo’s case, accepting an appeal from broadcasters that are hoping to shut down the TV streaming service.
Aereo is a service that uses a series of tiny antennas, one per customer, to capture over-the-air broadcast television and stream it to user devices. Though broadcasters have sued Aereo in multiple districts, they’ve failed to get an injunction against them, thus prompting an appeal to both the Second Circuit and now the Supreme Court.
Aereo had also asked the court to take the case, which broadcasters fear could cause cable companies and satellite providers to avoid paying retransmission fees for broadcast television. Aereo, however, claims that what it is doing is not retransmission, but an extension of existing consumer rights to privately capture broadcast television.
Next up today, Stephen Shankland at CNet reports that the European Commission has opened an antitrust investigation against many U.S. broadcasters to see if they are violating any laws by blocking cross-border access to their work.
At issue is whether producers can legally grant “absolute territorial protection” to broadcasters. These provisions ensure that a broadcaster has the sole right to show a piece of content in their country but that they can not broadcast or stream it beyond their border.
The European Union Court of Justice has already taken a grim view of territorial exclusivity, previously ruling in a case involving the Premiere League, ruling that it was legal for a bar owner to use a receive from another country to get cheaper rates.
Finally toady, Andy Baio at Waxy writes that it is the season where many Oscar screener discs, CDs or BluRays sent to Oscar judges for their consideration, leak online. However, a recent leak of the movie The Secret Life of Walter Mitty contained a twist as the watermark on the print said it belonged to Ellen Degeneres, the talk show host and comedian.
While it doesn’t appear that it was an Oscar screener, having been produced and sent well before other Oscar screeners were sent, it does appear to be a screener for Ben Stiller’s appearance on the show. Regardless, the screener has leaked online and is now widely available on BitTorrent and other file sharing platforms.
How the screener leaked online is unclear, however, in such cases it is rarely the celebrity him or herself that leaked it. Rather, it most likely came from someone employed by them, that was lent the disc or that handled the it at some point.
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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