NEW YORK – A startup company trying to defend the legality of how it sends live TV programming to laptop computers, iPhones and other mobile devices encountered a skeptical appeals court panel on Friday.
Three judges of the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals seemed poised to reverse a lower court judge who in July reluctantly gave a thumbs-up to the company, Aereo Inc. The decision by Judge Alison Nathan was appealed by broadcasters including Fox, ABC, CBS, NBC and others, who say Aereo without permission copies and retransmits their programs as they are first aired.
Aereo attorney R. David Hosp insisted the company went out of its way to comply with copyright laws as it provided a legal, alternate platform for free TV broadcasts. He accused broadcasters of trying to "punish us for following the law." He argued that the company lets users rent remotely located antennas to access content they could receive for free by installing the same equipment at home.