The litigation, strange though it may seem, is an effort to quell any future lawsuits brought by the broadcast networks against Aereo. The Internet startup has been at the receiving end of several suits filed by NBC, ABC, Fox and CBS; the companies have sued to protect their copyright over their broadcast programs.
The CBS lawsuit comes as Aereo plans to move to Boston. CBS Executive Vice President Dana McClintock had previously intimated on Twitter that CBS would sue Aereo if it continued with its planned expansion.
@richbtig We will sue, and stealing our signal will be found to be illegal in Boston, just as it will be everywhere else.
— Dana McClintock (@Dana_McClintock) April 23, 2013
Aereo provides live online streaming of broadcast television to its subscribers. Broadcast networks have sued Aereo in federal court for copyright violation, but so far the courts have ruled against the networks. Aereo’s motive in this case is to prevent further litigation over what they say is a settled issue.
“The fact that CBS did not prevail in their efforts to enjoin Aereo in their existing federal lawsuit does not entitle them to a do-over in another jurisdiction,” said Aereo in a statement after the filing. “We are hopeful that any such efforts to commence duplicative lawsuits to try to seek a different outcome will be rejected by the courts.”
As the new case moves forward, questions remain over how it will impact the ongoing lawsuit between Aereo and the other networks. If Aereo wins the case, the ruling would inhibit further action by the broadcast networks to sue them in other jurisdictions.