Utah subscribers to the controversial Internet-based TV service Aereo have only two more weeks to enjoy it.
The New York City-based Aereo was ordered last week to shut its service down in Utah after losing a major court battle against four Salt Lake City television stations. But U.S. District Court Judge Dale Kimball has granted the company 14 days to remain in operation while Aereo asks for an appeal to the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals.
"The court … finds some benefit in allowing Aereo’s customers uninterrupted service pending the 10th Circuit’s decision on an emergency motion to stay," the judge wrote in a six-page ruling issued Tuesday.
Last week, Kimball granted a preliminary injunction to shut down Aereo’s operation in six states — including Utah, Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Wyoming and Oklahoma — after he ruled that the service infringes on the copyrights of the local television stations.
Aereo is a new service that takes local over-the-air TV signals and broadcasts them to paid subscribers through their computers or mobile devices. The judge rules that the technology violates The Copyright Act of 1976 because Aereo does not pay the TV broadcasters for their right to use the signals.
Local stations KTVX Channel 4, KUCW Channel 30, KSTU Channel 13 and KUTV Channel 2, filed for the preliminary injunction last year. Kimball’s ruling last week was the first court loss ever dealt against Aereo, which had won prior legal battles against a Boston TV station and another against the major TV networks including CBS, ABC and NBC.
The lawsuit filed by the major networks is now scheduled to be heard before the U.S. Supreme Court next month.
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