(NBC News) – In Washington today, the U.S. Supreme Court hears a case that could affect how you watch TV and where.
Right now, to watch the major networks you either have to catch it live, or record it on a DVR, often rented from a cable or satellite provider.
Now there’s Aereo.: “This is piracy. You’re picking up copyrighted content that somebody else spent a lot of money to develop,” says John Hane, Communications Law.
Broadcasters agree, and they want the Supreme Court to decide.
But Aereo argues they’re not stealing programming – they’re just renting thousands of tiny antennas to consumers,
Who decide for themselves when, where, and what to watch. “And if they can pull the service down, which is so carefully designed to be legal, you’ll have a spate of lawsuits about any cloud storage of any content,” said Mark Cooper, Consumer Federation of America
It’s a case about money, too.
Broadcasters charge cable and satellite providers big bucks to rebroadcast programs.
Aereo pays nothing – and charges consumers as little as eight dollars a month.
The court is expected to issue a ruling in June.