Cloud Industry Relieved That Aereo Ruling Has Little Effect on Cloud

July 7, 2014 by - Cloud business phone, Cloud solution company, San francisco solutions consultant

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Many involved in the cloud computing industry were worried about what the decision against Aereo Inc. could mean for cloud hosting. The U.S. Supreme Court finally came to a decision that potentially spells the end of Aereo as a company.

The Supreme Court ruled that, as many suspected, Aereo did indeed violate broadcasters’ copyrights. Aereo’s argument was that it was legal to do so as long as one antenna matched up to each customer — thus they were essentially acting as a “storage space” for programming, like DropBox in a way. The court, though, said that selling programming without licensing fees was copyright violation regardless of the technology used.

“Viewed in terms of Congress’ regulatory objectives, why should any of these technological differences matter?” Wrote Justice Stephen Breyer in his dismissal of the idea that individual antennas meant that the transmissions were “privately” occurring.

Many cloud server hosting companies were worried about the impact the case’s ruling could have on cloud computing solutions. For the most part, though, the ruling side-stepped saying anything about cloud technology specifically. And indeed, the ruling itself said that, though questions existed regarding the legality of cloud storage, those questions should wait for “a case in which they are squarely presented.”

“They wanted to take pains to protect existing cloud computing,” explained Clay Brockman, who is an investment-research analyst. He says that further litigation down the road will help to give a more concrete outlook to the potential limits of cloud solutions technology.

While it’s possible that Aereo itself might find another way to thrive between existing parameters, the company’s outlook seems a bit bleak, especially considering that CEO Chet Kanojia had previously indicated that there was no Plan B if, in fact, the court ruled against the company.

When it comes to the difference between Aereo and other cloud hosting technology, Paul Clement, the lawyer for various U.S. broadcasters in the case, said that there is a big difference between customers uploading their own files, and being provided it through a service like that which Aereo offered.

What legal issues do you think cloud technology will encounter in the future? Let us know in the comments. See this link for more references.

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