Here's a bizarre footnote to a bizarre footnote in the ongoing legal fight between Aereo and the TV broadcasters. As you may recall, Aereo has relied heavily on the precedent in the 2nd Circuit in the Cablevision case, which effectively ruled that Cablevision's remote DVR was legal. The first bizarre footnote was that in the district court case, Cablevision actually sided with the broadcasters. We pointed out that this was fairly cynical and obnoxious by Cablevision, as it appeared that the company was just trying to protect its turf from a competitor by arguing that its own remote DVR was legal, but this competitor's was illegal. Of course we left out one adjective.
It wasn't just cynical and obnoxious, it was monumentally shortsighted. That's because anyone who had spent more than about 30 seconds understanding the details of the case knew that the broadcasters weren't just focused on Aereo -- but rather were looking to use Aereo to overturn the Cablevision ruling. They were pretty explicit about this all along -- and even some of the judges understand this.
Now that the NY case has been appealed to the Supreme Court, and it's abundantly clear that the networks are aiming to take down the Cablevision ruling, Cablevision appears to finally have recognized what a monumentally stupid move it made in supporting their arguments earlier in the case (even if the networks lost). Rather than admit that it was in error, it appears that Cablevision has decided to cover up their flip flop by just screaming much more loudly against the very networks it sided with earlier in this case. It's come out with a scathing statement blasting the networks for their appeal, and arguing that the networks were engaged in a "willful attempt to stifle innovation." That's almost exactly the opposite of what it said before.
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