The broadcast networks have filed lawsuits against an online video-streaming service that has been urging customers to cut their cable cords, TheWrap.com reports.
The new service, Aereo, is set to launch in New York in about two weeks. Suing it for alleged copyright violations in a pair of lawsuits are CBS, NBC, ABC, Fox, Univision and PBS, the story reports.
Barry Diller, the longtime television exec who created the Fox Network three decades ago, is behind the new service. As reported previously, Aereo’s model distributes broadcast programming over the Internet to Web-connected TVs, phones and tablets.
The broadcast networks see Aereo as a direct competitor and say the company needs their permission to carry their programming.
Fox, PBS and Univision are joined in one of the two lawsuits, which says in part: "No amount of technological gimmickry by Aereo — or claims that it is simply providing a set of sophisticated ‘rabbit ears’ — changes the fundamental principle of copyright laws that those who wish to retransmit Plaintiffs’ broadcasts may do so only with Plaintiffs authority."
The other suit, filed by CBS, ABC and NBC, states simply: "This service is based on the illegal use of our content. Beyond that, we believe the complaint speaks for itself.”
The networks are suing for damages along with injunctive relief, the report notes.