Embattled over-the-air web TV service Aereo has just had it up to here with CBS and its pesky lawsuits, it seems, as the company has filed a complaint to try to block the network from filing any more lawsuits against it. CBS and other networks say Aereo infringes on their copyrighted material, with some (including CBS and FOX) even threatening to pull their broadcast signals if Aereo wins the day.
So far, CBS and the others — Fox and NBC included — have lost two decisions in New York this year, notes The Verge, and after CBS threatened to file another suit in Boston, Aereo is fed up with the legal wrangling.
In a statement to The Verge, Aereo says CBS just needs to quit it, already:
“Last year, the trial court denied CBS’ and the other broadcasters’ request for a preliminary injunction against Aereo. Last month, the appeals court affirmed that decision. The fact that CBS did not prevail in their efforts to enjoin Aereo in their existing federal lawsuit does not entitle them to a do-over in another jurisdiction. We are hopeful that any such efforts to commence duplicative lawsuits to try to seek a different outcome will be rejected by the courts.”
By filing suit in Federal Court in New York against CBS, Aereo is looking for a declaratory judgment, and for the court to claim jurisdiction over the earlier lawsuits so the networks can’t go shopping around for a more sympathetic court elsewhere.
“This case should be heard by the same court handling the consolidated 2012 actions,” Aereo said in its complaint, “in order to avoid unnecessary duplication of judicial effort.”
At the crux of the controversy are claims by the broadcasters that Aereo is stealing their signals without handing over money. But Aereo says each tiny antenna owned by a single customer is just a tool for taking those signals out of the air and right to the customer. It thinks that service should be seen the same way as if those individual customers had an antenna on their home or apartment building.