The decision is made. Today, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of innovation, the freedom of the American people and the sacredness of over-the-air television. Aereo, a non-moneymaking hobby backed by bloated investors, is dead. Finally.
There is reason to rejoice at their demise:
- Stealing is bad. It turns out you can’t sell something you don’t own. This is good for innovative companies such as – ahem – antenna manufacturers.
- Over-the-air is free right now and that is the way that it should be. If Aereo had won, broadcasters had threatened to pull their over-the-air signal and charge consumers for their content.
For some time, Aereo has cast itself as a star in its own underdog drama. It wanted to be the proverbial David. The fatal error Aereo made was thinking the American people were too stupid to see through their little myth. All along, there have been loopholes in this story:
- The technology is not real. It boils down to this: you cannot break the laws of physics with antenna technology or by calling them “microantennas.” As much as we would like to, you just cannot. It’s that simple.
- There is nothing innovative about stealing. If you are going to charge money to rebroadcast something, then the creator of the content should get a cut. It is called copyright, and it exists to protect innovations – not harm them.
- It was charging people for free content. Over-the-air is free. Not a subscription. You can receive it in full HD with an antenna. Millions of Americans have realized this and millions more will follow.
- Aereo is not actually a company. It has not actually sustained itself and made money. It took large amounts of cash and blew them on legal fees. For the millions they have invested in lawyers, Antennas Direct could have supplied scores of Americans with the ability to start watching television right now for free.
Aereo investors say they have no plan B. And we are so grateful for their arrogance, poor planning and illegal business model. We invite you to join us today in dancing on Aereo’s grave. Three cheers for free TV!