That startup sends TV broadcast signals to your computer, tablet, or phone so you can watch free network TV on a device other than a television. The TV broadcasters aren’t fans of Aereo’s business model, and they have filed a lawsuit claiming it violates copyright laws.
This is a case that involves unprecedented copyright issues because Aereo uses such new technology. As our Brett Logiurato has pointed out, Aereo’s supporters have been a little worried about how relatively old Supreme Court justices will understand the complex tech issues at the core of the case.
Justice Antonin Scalia seemed to confirm these fears when he suggested he didn’t know you had to pay for HBO, and Justice Sonia Sotomayor asked a question that indicated she didn’t know the difference between Aereo and Roku. (The latter lets users access subscription services like Hulu and Netflix.)
The lack of tech savvy extends beyond these two justices. As an organisation, the Supreme Court is fairly antiquated when it comes to how they communicate. Forget g-chat — the justices don’t even communicate over email, Justice Elena Kagan said during an appearance at Brown University in August. Instead, they communicate through memos on ivory paper.
Kagan said the justices have a long way to go when it comes to understanding Twitter, Facebook, and email, The Associated Press reported.
“The justices are not necessarily the most technologically sophisticated people,” she reportedly said. “The court hasn’t really ‘gotten to’ email.”