On March 1,2012, Plaintiffs filed two Complaints against Aereo alleging that its serviceunlawfully captures broadcast television signals in the New York City area, including at leastsome corresponding to television programs on which Plaintiffs hold the copyright (PIs. Ex. 83),and provides them over the internet to Aereo subscribers.
Hrg. Tr. at 132:7-141:
292:3-25; PIs. Br. at 4-5; Aereo Br. at
Although Plaintiffs' Complaints assert multipletheories
liability, including infringement
public performance, infringement
reproduction, and contributory infringement (Complaint at
No. 12-cv-01540, Docket Entry
WNETv. AEREO, Inc.,
No. 12-cv-01543, Docket Entry
the issue presently before the Court is quite limited. OnMarch 13,2012, Plaintiffs moved for a preliminary injunction, asserting that Aereo was directlyliable for copyright infringement by publicly performing Plaintiffs' copyrighted works.
(3/13/12 Tr. at 7:23-8:5,28:12-29:5). This motion was further limited in scope, challenging onlythe aspects
Aereo's service that allow subscribers to view Plaintiffs' copyrighted televisionprograms contemporaneously with the over-the-air broadcast
these programs. (Hrg. Tr.255:6-18,267:14-23). After a roughly eleven week period
expedited discovery and briefingon the preliminary injunction motion, the Court held a two-day evidentiary hearing on May 30and 31, 2012, to establish the record for deciding the motion.
Aereo characterizes itself as a technology platform, rather than a service, and argues that it is not liable because it
the user, rather than Aereo, that controls the operation
Aereo's system and "makes" the performances at issue.(Aereo Prop. COL at
Aereo Br. at 6-7). As explained below,
Section IV.B.6, the Court doesnot reach this question, and any description
providing a "service" or
Aereo "doing" any particularacts should not be viewed as a decision on this issue.
the Plaintiffs also moved for a preliminary injunction on a theory
unfair competition. (3/13/12 Tr. at28: 12-29:5; Mem.
Mot. for Preliminary Injunction on the WNET Plaintiffs' Claim
the Alternativefor Unfair Competition,
WNETv. AEREO, Inc.,
No. 12-cv-01543, Docket Entry 72). The Court dismissed this claimprior to the hearing as preempted by
See WNETv. Aereo, Inc.,
No. 12-cv-01543, 2012 U.S.Dist. LEXIS 70749 (S.D.N.Y. May 21, 2012).
Case 1:12-cv-01543-AJN Document 131 Filed 07/11/12 Page 2 of 52