Aereo looks for eleventh-hour help from Congress

Web TV provider Aereo is asking its subscribers to reach out to Congress to bring it back to life.

In a letter on Tuesday, chief executive Chet Kanojia called on supporters to “raise your hands and make your voices heard.”

“Don't let your voices be silenced,” he added. “Let's stand together for innovation, progress, and technology.

Aereo, which the Supreme Court ruled last week violates broadcasters’ copyright licenses by streaming programming to people’s tablets, laptops and other devices without paying for the rights, has said that it had no backup plan in case its business model was killed.

The service temporarily shut down over the weekend, and its future is murky without a quick and dramatic change in operations or law. 

To get it or a similar kind of service up and running again, the company wants Congress to get involved.  

In support of the push, the company has a new website to help people contact their members of Congress through email as well as social media. 

Aereo’s use of the "cloud" to transmit programming from NBC, ABC and other broadcast TV channels is no different than an antenna from Best Buy or RadioShack, it says.

“The spectrum that the broadcasters use to transmit over-the-air programming belongs to the American public and you should have a right to access that programming whether your antenna sits on the roof of your home, on top of your television or in the cloud,” the company claimed on its new site.

“Ask your elected officials to take action to protect your right use an antenna to access live free-to-air broadcasts, including a modern antenna located in the cloud.”