With Aereo’s future in doubt, the company’s founder and CEO Chet Kanojia blasted the Supreme Court’s ruling in favor of broadcasters, saying that it “sends a chilling message to the technology industry.”
“It is troubling that the Court states in its decision that, ‘to the extent commercial actors or other interested entities may be concerned with the relationship between the development and use of such technologies and the Copyright Act, they are of course free to seek action from Congress.’” Kanojia said in his statement. “That begs the question: Are we moving towards a permission-based system for technology innovation?”
He called the decision a “massive setback to the American consumer.”
“Consumer access to free-to-air broadcast television is an essential part of our country’s fabric,” he said. “Using an antenna to access free-to-air broadcast television is still meaningful for more than 60 million Americans across the United States. And when new technology enables consumers to use a smarter, easier to use antenna, consumers and the marketplace win. Free-to-air broadcast television should not be available only to those who can afford to pay for the cable or satellite bundle.”
He added, “Justice Scalia’s dissent gets it right. He calls out the majority’s opinion as ‘built on the shakiest of foundations.’ Justice Scalia goes on to say that ‘The Court vows that its ruling will not affect cloud-storage providers and cable television systems, see ante, at 16-17, but it cannot deliver on that promise given the imprecision of its results-driven rule.’ ”
Aereo’s key investor Barry Diller said that the fight is “over” — but Kanojia said that “our work is not done,” albeit in some other form.
“We will continue to fight for our consumers and fight to create innovative technologies that have a meaningful and positive impact on our world,” he said.