Aereo at the Supreme Court: a guide to the biggest TV case in 30 years (and where to learn more)


On Tuesday at 11am ET, Aereo will face off at the Supreme Court against big broadcasters and the Justice Department over whether Aereo, which lets consumers watch and record over-the-air TV for $8/month, should be shut down for copyright infringement.

Here’s a brief Q&A about the most important TV case since 1984, when the Supreme Court found the VCR to be a legal technology. Below you can find links to full background coverage.

What is Aereo and why are the broadcasters suing it?

Aereo rents dime-size antennas that act like long-distance rabbit ears attached to a remote DVR. The service, which is available in 11 cities, lets people watch and record over-the-air channels like NBC and Fox by streaming shows to their phone or computer.

The broadcasters say Aereo is violating copyright law by rebroadcasting their signals. Aereo, however, claims that it’s the subscribers who are doing the transmitting, and that Aereo simply rents a tool that lets people watch a private performance — much like they do when…

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