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Supreme Court rules Aereo streaming service illegal

The Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled that the novel TV streaming service Aereo violates the Copyright Act by retransmitting recorded programming, a decision that effectively pulls the plug on the startup.

Aereo allows customers to lease a tiny antenna through which they can stream and record live TV, and the company argued that it was simply providing the technology for people to access programming. Major broadcast networks disagreed, claiming that even though the service legally captured shows, it retransmitted them without paying to do so.

In a 6-3 ruling, the high court sided against Aereo, saying that it was "publicly" redistributing content, and so it had to comply with the Copyright Act. Still, the court stressed that it intended its ruling to be limited, saying it did not want to "discourage the emergence or use of different kinds of technologies."