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First off today, Emily Steel at The New York Times reports that TV streaming service Aereo has filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy.
Aereo was a TV streaming service that allowed users to capture, record and stream over the air broadcast television. Since it used a series of antennas, one per customer, it claimed it was not a public retransmission. However, despite a series of lower court victories, the Supreme Court ruled against Aereo in June, forcing Aereo to cease operations. Last month, the company laid off the bulk of its staff.
Aereo said the bankruptcy was necessary because the Supreme Court decision pushed them into legal uncertainty. The bankruptcy provides Aereo with protection from its creditors and offers Aereo the chance to sell its assets and both restructure its debt and reorganize the company though it is unclear if Aereo, as we know it today, will continue to exist.
Next up today, Eriq Gardner at Billboard reports that SiriusXM has suffered yet another setback in its ongoing dispute over pre-1972 sound recordings as a California judge has ruled that the satellite radio service can not immediately appeal the summary judgment against it.
The dispute centers around pre-1972 sound recordings, which are not under federal copyright protection but are under state common law. Flo & Eddie of the Turtles have sued SiriusXM in multiple states alleging that the satellite provider has failed to pay royalties for public performances of their music and have won legal victories in both California and New York.
The judge in California granted a summary judgment against SiriusXM, saying that their use of the music was infringing. SiriusXM sought to appeal that ruling but the judge has denied that, saying that such a move would only delay the litigation. SiriusXM may still be able to appeal, but it is much less likely with the latest ruling.
Finally today, Chaire Atkinson at The New York Post reports that Amazon is preparing to launch a new free, ad-supported video streaming service early next year.
The new service would be separate from Amazon’s Prime video streaming service, which costs $99 per year and features no advertisements. That service is used by about 25 million of its Prime members, which compares to Netflix’s 33 million subscribers in the U.S.
Amazon has not confirmed the plans but they have been long-rumored, with a report in March saying that Amazon was considering launching such a service. The believed goal is to upsell its users on Prime memberships but advertisers may be drawn to Amazon due to its ability to target ads and present them to a relatively captive audience.
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.