Another One Bites The Dust: Boston Court Denies Preliminary Injunction Against Aereo

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Refusing to pipe down today, Aereo has just confirmed that a federal judge has ruled in favor of Aereo in its legal battle with Hearst Stations in Boston, one of three ongoing lawsuits between the streaming TV startup and major network broadcasters, the other in New York and most recently Utah.

Judge Nathaniel M. Gorton issued a ruling that denies the plaintiff a motion for preliminary injunction, which would force Aereo to cease business in Boston while the case is being evaluated. This would be a terrible outcome for Aereo, which the company has already avoided in New York.

Hearst, then, could not prove likelihood of success based on merits or that irreparable harm would be done to the company without this “drastic remedy,” in legal speak. But this in no way means that the fight in Boston is over.

In fact, Aereo was denied the motion it filed to have the case against Hearst brought back to New York under Judge Nathan, who had ruled favorably for Aereo in the past.

Here’s what Aereo founder and CEO Chet Kanojia had to say about the win:

Today’s decision, coupled with the decisions in favor of Aereo in the Southern District of New York (July 11, 2013) and the Second Circuit Court of Appeals (April 1, 2013 and July 16, 2013), shows that when you comply not only with the letter, but the spirit of the law, justice will prevail. Today’s victory belongs to the consumer and today’s decision, makes clear that that there is no reason that consumers should be limited to 1950s technology to access over-the-air broadcast television. Using Aereo, a consumer can simply and easily use an individual remote antenna and cloud DVR via the Internet to record and watch-over-the air programs.

This comes on the heels of an earlier report, which claims that major broadcasters plan to petition the U.S. Supreme Court to review lower court rulings that have been in favor of Aereo, allowing the startup to continue offering access to those network’s free over the air signals.

So far, these same broadcasters have lost in the Second Circuit Appeals Court, where officials refused to reconsider a case after upholding a ruling by district Judge Allison Nathan, who previously denied a preliminary injunction in New York.

The petition may go through considering that an Aereo-like service, Film On X, is losing against broadcasters in Los Angeles. The Supreme Court may decide to step in if multiple district courts are issuing different opinions.

Here’s the ruling:

Aereo v Hearst

[IMG courtesy of TVGuide]