Aereo Takes Offensive in Copyright Battle

Company takes out full-page ad in New York Times as broadcasters threaten to convert to cable

Aereo has launched a public relations offensive in its protracted legal war against furious New York broadcasters who claim copyright violation.

The Barry Diller-backed startup took out a full-page ad in the front section of The New York Times earlier this week to publicize its case, defending its business against accusations of copyright violations while taking shots at broadcasters, according to The Verge.

"People have enjoyed the right to access over-the-air broadcast television using an antenna for over 70 years," the ad read in part. "About 54 million Americans use some sort of antenna to watch TV. This is not piracy. This has been part of the American way since the beginning of broadcasting."

Major broadcasters, including Fox, PBS, Tribune, WNET and Univision, have once again asked federal appeals courts to overturn the decision that allows Aereo to continue its business. The highly contested decision handed down by the Second Court of Appeals agreed with Aereo's defensive argument that it offers not a public performance of copyrighted works, but a private one.

Broadcasters have insisted that Aereo is causing their businesses irreparable harm, with several threatening to convert their networks to cable channels if the courts refuse to shut down the service. 

With both sides on the offensive and the core issue of the case polarizing even appeals court judges, the fight will undoubtedly drag on in courts for a long time.