Aereo Again Seeks Court Ruling That Its Service is Not Illegal

Attempts Preemptive Strike Against CBS's Plans to Sue Over What Broadcasters Claim is Ongoing Copyright Violations
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Aereo has filed a complaint against CBS seeking to head off threatened suits in markets where it plans to expand its streamed TV station signal service.

In a request for declaratory ruling filed Monday with the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, Aereo said that given CBS's threat to file individual suits in the markets where it plans to expand beyond New York--it has recently announced expansion to a second market, Boston, and plans other launches--it wants the court to declare that Aereo technology does not infringe any CBS copyrights.

Aereo says that in response to that Boston announcement, CBS threatened to file suits in that and other markets, citing news reports of CBS and copies of tweets from a CBS executive. CBS reiterated that Monday.

The same district court earlier denied CBS' request for a preliminary injunction against Aereo while it hears the actual broadcaster challenge, but the court denied that injunction and the Second Circuit Court of Appeals upheld that decision.

“Such threatened follow-on suits would be an attempt to avoid or evade the District Court’s rulings and the Second Circuit’s affirmance of the denial of the preliminary injunction motion by seeking Do-overs in other courts,” Aereo told the court.

“The fact that CBS did not prevail in their efforts to enjoin Aereo in their existing federal lawsuit does not entitle them to a do-over in another jurisdiction,” said Aereo in a statement accompanying the latest legal filing. “We are hopeful that any such efforts to commence duplicative lawsuits to try to seek a different outcome will be rejected by the courts." 

CBS issues this statement: "These public relations and legal maneuvers do not change the fundamentally illegal nature of Aereo's supposed business. The issue of unauthorized streaming of copyrighted television programming is now being contested in the 2nd Circuit and the 9th Circuit, and wherever Aereo attempts to operate there will be vigorous challenges to its Illegal  business model."