Aereo Now Considers Itself a Cable Company

Letter filed with New York district court

Aereo is not dead yet.

Lawyers representing Aereo filed a letter to a New York district court yesterday, stating that the company now considers itself a cable provider, which was documented in a post on the company's blog.

Aereo suspended its service last month following a ruling by the Supreme Court that found its offerings to be illegal. Aereo backer Barry Diller previously stated that such a decision would mean that the company would be "finished," but now it seems Aereo is not willing to give up the fight. The letter comes one week after CEO Chet Kanojia called on subscribers to petition lawmakers to change copyright laws, TechCrunch reported, pointing out that this makes Aereo's latest strategy something of a "backup backup plan" despite initially appearing to not want to fight the Supreme Court decision. But since the Supreme Court based that decision on a comparison to Aereo as equivalent to service offered by a cable provider, the company is now attempting to use that ruling to its advantage in its latest legal argument.

"The Supreme Court’s holding that Aereo is a cable system under the Copyright Act is significant because, as a cable system, Aereo is now entitled to the benefits of the copyright statutory license pursuant to the Copyright Act," said Aereo's lawyers in their letter to the district court judge. "Aereo is proceeding to file the necessary statements of account and royalty fees."

Broadcasters, however, argue that Aereo can't claim this defense, since its past statements claimed that the company was not a cable provider.

In their decision, the Supreme Court affirmed "non-simultaneous playback from copies created by consumers," which has led TechCrunch, among others, to conjecture that "we could see the company continue with options for users to play back TV shows later" should their latest defense fail. For now, there's at least hope for Aereo, which many assumed was ready to throw in the towel.