Aereo CEO: No backup plan for court loss

For Internet video service Aereo, it’s either win at the Supreme Court this year or pack it all in.

In an interview with Bloomberg posted on Tuesday, CEO Chet Kanojia said that there was no backup plan in the event that the high court rules in favor of broadcasters trying to take down the service.

“There’s no Plan B,” he said. “We do believe it’s the right thing. Progress is important. The mission of this company was to try to create a new platform, try to wedge the system open a bit.”

“And if we don’t succeed in that, despite our best efforts and good law on our side and the merits of our case, it would be a tragedy, but it is what it is,” he added.

{mosads}Aereo, which has the backing of media mogul Barry Diller, uses a system of tiny antennas to allow people to watch live broadcast television on their mobile devices or computer, for a monthly fee.

Broadcasters say that amounts to a violation of copyright law. If Aereo wants to show broadcast signals, they say, it needs to pay the companies for the privilege.

In the interview, Kanojia said he was surprised by the backlash the company has received.

“The controversy we anticipated but, again, the scope and the scale of what’s transpiring was a surprise,” he said.

Courts have tended to side with Aereo, though it was dealt its first major loss last month.

The Obama administration has sided with the broadcasters. In a brief filed earlier this month, the Justice Department said that the tech company was “clearly infringing” on broadcasters’ rights.

Oral arguments are set for April 22. 

Tags Aereo Chet Kanojia Supreme Court of the United States

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