Bloomberg News

Aereo Sued by Hearst TV Station WCVB in Boston on Copyrights (1)

July 09, 2013

Aereo Inc., the online television service facing lawsuits by broadcast TV networks in New York for copyright infringement, was sued in Boston by a Hearst-owned television station over similar claims.

Hearst Stations Inc. said that Aereo has infringed the copyrights of its WCVB station by capturing its signals and retransmitting the programming to its subscribers without a license, according to federal court records.

“If Aereo is permitted to profit from the unauthorized retransmission of copyrighted television programming, WCVB will be deprived of existing and potential revenue streams from advertising and authorized retransmissions,” Hearst said in its complaint.

The broadcast TV networks, including CBS Corp. and Walt Disney Co.’s ABC, sued Aereo in New York in March 2012. U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan rejected the networks’ motion for an injunction that would have shut down the service, and a panel of New York appeals judges upheld that ruling in April. Immediately after that, Aereo announced plans to expand to Boston and other cities.

In May Aereo sued CBS Corp. (CBS:US) in New York after published reports said CBS might sue in Boston to try to shut down its service there.

Aereo has filed a motion in New York to dismiss the networks’ suits, while the networks have petitioned the full appeals court to re-hear the arguments for an injunction.

Virginia Lam, a spokeswoman for New York-based Aereo, said the company declines to comment on the Boston suit.

WCVB produces more than 43 hours of original local programming a week from studios in Needham, Massachusetts, according to the court filing. Its shows include “Chronicle” and “On the Record.”

Hearst Stations is part of New York-based Hearst Corp.

The new case is Hearst Stations v. Aereo, 13-cv-11649, U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts (Boston).

To contact the reporter on this story: Don Jeffrey in New York at djeffrey1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net


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