... US District Court Judge Dale Kimball said Aereo was required to follow the same guidelines as cable companies, and broker deals to retransmit programming. That's something Aereo has fought against, arguing that it's offering the same thing people can get over the air for free on their TV.
Same idiot argument internet scrapers make when you beat them upside the head with DMCA complaints that it's "freely available" well so is my foot freely available to kick them in the butt.
Anyway, apparently the Feds are fed up with scrapers too and don't buy their lame arguments any more than I do that FREE does not mean FREE to do with as you wish.
As I understand it they have a little antennae for each customer in their own facility presumably very close to where it originates from so they get excellent reception which is why they only need the little antennae. This allows them to skirt the laws about rebroadcasting because each customer has their own antenna. You're not paying for the content but paying for the remote antennae. At least that is the argument they have made.
That signal is sent over the internet, you're basically renting an antennae in another location and you can now get your local channels anywhere there is access to the internet.
This allows them to skirt the laws about rebroadcasting because each customer has their own antenna.
Apparently they aren't skirting that law anymore as the fed shut 'em down.
If they weren't getting any gain whatsoever from rebroadcasting, and getting a customer base to upsell other services is a gain, then they probably would've been mostly ignored. Call if whatever you want, but if the end goal of using the content provided by others is the ends to some other commercial means, the original broadcaster will get it shutdown.
The broadcasters really don't want them shut down, they just want the same deal all the other cable and satellite operators have in place to rebroadcast their content. Simple as that as you can't have people playing by 2 sets of rules otherwise the cable and satellite people will want to back out as well so there's a lot at stake here.
If this happened to your web site, you would file a DMCA request to get that content removed and block the bots from crawling your site. Blocking scrapers when you're broadcasting over the public airwaves is kind of hard to do short of buying the property next door to their receivers and installing local jammers which I think the FCC would frown upon.