3 Count: Deflating Aereo

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1: Aereo Bankruptcy Auction Fetches Less than $2 Million

First off today, Steven Musil at CNet reports that the shuttered TV streaming service Aereo has gone up for auction and has netted somewhere between $1 million and $2 million, far below expectations and even farther below hopes.

Aereo was a service that allowed users to capture over-the-air television using a series of tiny antennas, one per customer, and then view it either live or recorded over the Web. The TV networks sued Aereo and, though Aereo won some early rounds, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against the company. Shortly following the Supreme Court ruling, the company closed down and, after further attempts at a comeback were thwarted, it filed for bankruptcy.

The bankruptcy sale was expected to bring in at least $4 million with some estimates ranging as high as $31 million. However, when it was all over, the company’s property fetched less than $2 million with the trademark and customer list going to TiVo and the firm RPX grabbing Aereo’s patents.

2: Florida Moving to Unmask Anonymous Websites to Combat Online Piracy

Next up today, David Kravets at Ars Technica reports that Florida is considering legislation that would make it unlawful to operate a site anonymously if it offers “commercial” sound recordings and/or videos.

The bill requires sites to present the relevant contact information of the owner including the name, address, phone and email. This would apply if the person involved were distributing just their recordings or if third parties were uploading the recordings.

A similar law in Georgia led to the raid of two DJs who were making mixtape. However, the Georgia law only applied to physical goods, not websites, making the Florida law a large expansion on the idea.

3: Bad Dentist Must Pay $4,677 in Case Over Yelp Threats

Finally today, Jeff John Roberts at GigaOm reports that a New York dentist has been ordered to pay nearly $5,000 to a former patient in a bizarre legal dispute over a bad review and a controversial contract.

On 2011 Robert Lee sought help from dentist Stacey Makhnevich. However, after he was unsatisfied with the service provided, Lee posted a negative review on Yelp. Makhnevich, however, claimed that a privacy agreement Lee had signed prevented him from posting such a review and began charging him $100 per day the review was online. When that failed, Makhnevich then tried to claim copyright in the review and order it taken down.

The judge in the case has ruled that Makhnevich must pay $4,677 in breach of contract over a related matter, namely that she failed to send records to his insurance company, which was part of Lee’s original complaint. However, it’s unlikely Lee will ever see the money as Makhnevich has disappeared and the judgment was a default because of her failure to appear.


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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