Broadcasting of TV shows over Internet at the same time as on-air broadcasting is an infringement of copyright

Supreme Court of United States: In an appeal regarding the infringement of copyright of the television programs by an internet broadcaster which allowed its subscribers to watch television programs over the Internet at about the same time as the programs are broadcast over the air streams, a nine judge bench of the Court held by a 6:3 majority that an internet broadcaster, which telecasts live shows at the same time as the live-show are aired by the broadcasters, ‘performs’ the copyright holder’s work ‘publicly’ within the meaning of the Transmit Clause in the Copyright Act, 1976 and clarified that the text of the Transmit Clause effectuates Legislature’s intent to protect a copyright holder from the unlicensed activities of such internet broadcasters as the same has overwhelming likeness to the cable companies as provided in the said Act and that the sole technological difference between the two cannot be considered to hold that the internet broadcasters do not fall within the purview of Copyright Act, 1976. The Court, holding that the respondent had infringed the copyright of the petitioners, said that it, however, believed that its decision will not discourage the emergence or use of different kinds of technologies. American Broadcasting Cos., Inc. v. Aereo, Inc., No. 13-61, decided on 25 June 2014

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