Copyright protections trump new TV-streaming technology

This is good news, from my publisher’s point of view. From The Globe and Mail:

Canadian content producers are breathing a sigh of relief after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that online streaming service Aereo Inc. violates U.S. copyright laws, dealing a devastating blow to the two-year-old startup. …

The ruling is welcome news to an array of concerned Canadian groups that jointly opposed Aereo’s model in an amicus brief. Organizations including the Canadian Media Production Association, actors’ union ACTRA, and the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada (SOCAN), argued to the court that Aereo was exploiting a loophole in U.S. copyright law to avoid paying royalties.

“Aereo had tried to game the copyright system,” said Barry Sookman, a partner at McCarthy Tétrault LLP who helped draft the brief. “It tried to find a loophole and to basically engineer its way around the Copyright Act.”

The concern for Canadian film, TV and music creators was not that a company such as Aereo would move north: The groups behind the brief argued that Canada’s legal precedents would make an expansion here difficult since they spell out more clearly how to define new broadcasting platforms. The Supreme Court of Canada ruled in a 2012 case that, where new technologies perform the same activity, “there is no justification for distinguishing between the two for copyright purposes.”

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