Aereo is an application that lets you view and record live, over-the-air television programs over the internet from various types of devices (i.e., smartphone, HDTV, tablets) for just $8 per month in the New York area. This is a great deal for people who do not want to spend hundreds of dollars for television service when they only watch seven to ten of the channels. Even though this is a great concept for most people, a new report from VentureBeat suggests that multi-billion dollar companies are starting to target Aereo since it is a threat to their profit margin. The National Football League (NFL) and Major League Baseball (MLB) collaborated with other broadcasting companies to request government intervention against Aereo for alleged copyright infringement.
This is an interesting development in technology because it shows the strength of open source software and technology entrepreneurs. During the past few years, we’ve seen the success of websites such as Netflix and Hulu but these companies get funds from movie, cable, and broadcasting companies. Aereo does not receive funds from any of these organizations. Therefore, they are not bound by any agreement or restrictions due to receiving funds from the organizations. This is a benefit to the consumer because we get to choose a provider that does not charge a ridiculous amount of money for programming. Some individuals are not able to afford a monthly $17 charge for a DVR plus a $69 charge for cable service. Therefore, an $8 charge for over-the-air viewing and recording service is beneficial to them. As we move forward, we must advocate for more access to services like Aereo before they are revoked my multi-billion dollar corporations.