Blogs

US Supreme Court Hears Argument that Might Hurt Cloud Storage

04.23.14

During a hearing in a copyright infringement case about TV programs the alleged infringer’s attorney argued that the “cloud computing industry is freaked out about this case” and that a ruling against Aereo would expose the “the cloud industry” to “potentially ruinous liability” as reported by the New York Times.

However can the Supreme Court really understand the cloud? “The Aereo case is being decided by people who call iCloud ‘the iCloud.’ Yes, really” was a Washington Post blog which poked fun at the Supreme Court Justices that they did not really have a clue about the technology in dispute.

Computerworld reported that Aereo’s position before the Supreme Court that:

Aereo does not trigger the so-called public performance clause in U.S. copyright law, and should not have to pay royalties, because it gives subscribers access only to TV stations that are available over the air for free.

While copyright law requires royalties for public performances, defined as a performance “at a place open to the public or at any place where a substantial number of persons outside of a normal circle of a family and its social acquaintances is gathered,” Aereo provides a personalized service to each subscriber.

However Computerworld described the TV networks response that:

…the Supreme Court doesn’t need to deal with cloud storage services in the case. A cloud storage service is different from Aereo because users are providing content they’ve obtained, while Aereo gives subscribers access to content…

The New York Times also reported that:

Malcolm L. Stewart, a deputy solicitor general, argued in support of the broadcasters on behalf of the federal government. He acknowledged that cloud services that store and perhaps aggregate content were in some ways similar and posed difficult questions under the copyright laws.

Based on comments during the argument from the Justices they said they understood the far-reaching implications of the ruling in Aereo case, but really do they understand?

Now the cloud community awaits the ruling

The publications contained in this site do not constitute legal advice. Legal advice can only be given with knowledge of the client's specific facts. By putting these publications on our website we do not intend to create a lawyer-client relationship with the user. Materials may not reflect the most current legal developments, verdicts or settlements. This information should in no way be taken as an indication of future results.

Search Tips:

You may use the wildcard symbol (*) as a root expander.  A search for "anti*" will find not only "anti", but also "anti-trust", "antique", etc.

Entering two terms together in a search field will behave as though an "OR" is being used.  For example, entering "Antique Motorcars" as a Client Name search will find results with either word in the Client Name.

Operators

AND and OR may be used in a search.  Note: they must be capitalized, e.g., "Project AND Finance." 

The + and - sign operators may be used.  The + sign indicates that the term immediately following is required, while the - sign indicates to omit results that contain that term. E.g., "+real -estate" says results must have "real" but not "estate".

To perform an exact phrase search, surround your search phrase with quotation marks.  For example, "Project Finance".

Searches are not case sensitive.

back to top