End of the Road for 航空? Embattled Video Streaming 启动 Files for Bankruptcy
在一个 先前的帖子 we reported that in June the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that streaming television service, 航空, violated U.S. copyright law in connection with its business and legal battle with the major broadcast networks. At the time, we posed the question of whether, despite losing the lawsuit, 航空 had a future as a cable company?
The answer, it seems, is no. On November 20, 航空 filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for for the Southern District of 纽约, listing assets of $20.5 million and debt of $4.2 million.
航空在运营时允许订户通过Internet观看电视节目。用户可以观看广播电视节目，因为正在播放节目时稍有延迟。 Aereo’s system was made up of thousands of dime-sized antennas stored in warehouses that captured local broadcast signals. Subscribers would visit 航空's website, select a show, then an antenna would capture the show from the airwaves. An individual copy of the show would then be made on a remote hard drive and, once a few seconds of the show were saved, it would then be streamed to the subscriber's digital devices over the Internet.
In its June decision, the Supreme Court ruled that 航空 was “基本相似”电缆系统，因此需要广播公司’ permission to air their content. Since then 航空 has pushed for regulatory changes that would allow it to be classified as a cable system, including being able to qualify for a compulsory copyright license permitting it to pay limited royalties for the rights to broadcast content.
在一个n affidavit filed in the bankruptcy case, 航空 finance chief Ramon Rivera said that while “法律和监管框架正在发生变化” in 航空’s favor, “FCC做出决定的时机尚不确定。”因此，申请破产的目的是“完成其资产的绝大部分出售，为债权人和股东的利益进行注资或进行其他重组交易。”
航空 posted a statement 来自其创始人Chet Kanojia的网站上说 “Chapter 11 will permit 航空 to maximize the value of its business and assets without the extensive cost and distraction of defending drawn out litigation in several courts.”
The fact that the company filed under Chapter 11 (reorganization), rather than Chapter 7 (liquidation), suggests that the company and its financial backers believe that there is value in its assets and technology. We will continue to monitor 航空's bankruptcy case.
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