06-26-2014 02:04 PM
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  1. Scott7217's Avatar
    In that respect, the Aereo product would become a selling point to drive your for profit business. So yes, it'd still be illegal in my opinion. Another way to look at it would be if you lowered the cost of your regular subscription by X but charged exactly X for Aereo. The total of the two products combined would still be the same as the original subscription cost. Would you not agree that would be profiting from the Aereo product? It's essentially the same thing as in your example.
    I can see your point. Any value attributed to Aereo above $0 would be a profit, and if a profit is illegal to have with Aereo, my business would be illegal.

    However, I am essentially following the Amazon.com business model. They offer 2-day shipping for an annual fee. On top of that, customers get unlimited access to select videos from Amazon's library, and they can read free Kindle (e-book) titles every month. I have to believe that there are costs involved with streaming video or licensing free e-books, but Amazon doesn't charge its customers an additional fee for those services if they pay the annual shipping fee.

    What if Amazon bought Aereo?

    I feel that some businesses, like Amazon, have the capability to offer services at a loss to customers. So the customers win. Since video from Aereo keeps the commercials intact, the TV broadcasters win, too. People see the ads and buy the products featured in those ads. So even the ad sponsors win.

    If Amazon charges even a single penny to its customers for this (hypothetical) Aereo service, then all bets are off. We would need to evaluate the entire business model from top to bottom.
    02-27-2014 07:58 PM
  2. Mooncatt's Avatar
    However, I am essentially following the Amazon.com business model. They offer 2-day shipping for an annual fee. On top of that, customers get unlimited access to select videos from Amazon's library, and they can read free Kindle (e-book) titles every month. I have to believe that there are costs involved with streaming video or licensing free e-books, but Amazon doesn't charge its customers an additional fee for those services if they pay the annual shipping fee.
    One of two things is happening. Either the cost of all of those services is lumped together (like having a single $30 fee instead of 3 $10 fees) so that you're paying for all of the services anyway, or they offer it at/bellow margin with the idea that they make it up in profits from the items they sell. In either case, I can assure you they have obtained the necessary licencing and approvals to offer those "free" extras.

    We would need to evaluate the entire business model from top to bottom.
    Indeed, but any smart business will only do something if it they feel it'll increase its bottom line. The idea of selling something at a loss for the purpose of drawing in customers that purchase other goods to offset that loss is nothing new, and doesn't change the legalities of doing something if that specific action is a loss for the company.
    02-27-2014 10:13 PM
  3. Scott7217's Avatar
    03-04-2014 07:43 PM
  4. Scott7217's Avatar
    U.S. top court rules against TV startup Aereo -- Chicago Tribune (article link here)

    The US Supreme Court ruled 6-3 against Aereo today. According to the Court, Aereo is violating the law because its services are an unauthorized public performance of copyrighted material.
    06-25-2014 06:15 PM
  5. palandri's Avatar
    U.S. top court rules against TV startup Aereo -- Chicago Tribune (article link here)

    The US Supreme Court ruled 6-3 against Aereo today. According to the Court, Aereo is violating the law because its services are an unauthorized public performance of copyrighted material.
    That's what is messed up with Supreme Court decisions. 6 judges say it's illegal, but 3 judges say it is legal and they are all reading the same statutes.
    06-25-2014 09:25 PM
  6. Scott7217's Avatar
    That's what is messed up with Supreme Court decisions. 6 judges say it's illegal, but 3 judges say it is legal and they are all reading the same statutes.
    We could change the rules to require all decisions to be unanimous, but I don't think the Supreme Court would get much done.

    This article suggests that the Aereo decision was rather narrow:

    Myth-Busting The Aereo Decision: No, The Supreme Court Didn't Kill It... Nor Did They Kill Dropbox -- Forbes (article link here)

    Basically, Aereo could pay the networks to carry their programming, similar to what cable TV companies do right now. Aereo was only carrying over-the-air signals anyway, which most Americans probably don't watch. (Broadcast TV has been losing viewers to cable TV channels over the years.)

    We just need to wait for what Aereo does next.
    06-26-2014 02:04 PM
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