Updated Jun. 30, 2014 at 8:12 a.m.

Aereo suspends service after Supreme Court ruling

Published: 2014-06-30 07:10:00
Updated: 2014-06-30 08:12:29


NEW YORK, N.Y. - Online-streaming service Aereo Inc. is temporarily closing down its operation, three days after it was dealt an unfavorable ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court.

"We have decided to pause our operations temporarily as we consult with the court and map out our next steps," Aereo's Chief Executive Officer Chet Kanojia wrote in a letter to customers posted on its website Saturday.

Below is a transcript of the full letter posted on Saturday.

A Letter to Our Consumers: Standing Together for Innovation, Progress and Technology - An Update on Aereo

A little over three years ago, our team embarked on a journey to improve the consumer television experience, using technology to create a smart, cloud-based television antenna consumers could use to access live over the air broadcast television.

On Wednesday, the United States Supreme Court reversed a lower court decision in favor of Aereo, dealing a massive setback to consumers.

As a result of that decision, our case has been returned to the lower Court. We have decided to pause our operations temporarily as we consult with the court and map out our next steps. You will be able to access your cloud-based antenna and DVR only until 11:30 a.m. ET today. All of our users will be refunded their last paid month. If you have questions about your account, please email support@aereo.com or tweet us @AereoSupport.

The spectrum that the broadcasters use to transmit over the air programming belongs to the American public and we believe you should have a right to access that live programming whether your antenna sits on the roof of your home, on top of your television or in the cloud.

On behalf of the entire team at Aereo, thank you for the outpouring of support. It has been staggering and we are so grateful for your emails, Tweets and Facebook posts. Keep your voices loud and sign up for updates at ProtectMyAntenna.org - our journey is far from done.

The Supreme Court dealt Aereo, backed by Barry Diller, a major setback on Wednesday in ruling that the television-over-the-Internet service operates much like a cable TV company. As a result, the service violates copyright law unless Aereo pays broadcasters licensing fees for offering TV stations to customers' tablets, phones and other gadgets.

But, although the Supreme Court expressed its thinking on the law, it's the U.S. District Court in New York that must issue a preliminary injunction stopping the service, as requested by broadcasters.

Aereo had not ever launched service in the Triangle although it had listed RTP as a future service destination.
 

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