Television Stations KUTV, KMYU and Others Win Preliminary Injunction Against Aereo in Salt Lake City
Contact: Barry Faber, EVP & General Counsel
TELEVISION STATIONS KUTV, KMYU AND OTHERS WIN PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION AGAINST AEREO IN SALT LAKE CITY
Court Explicitly Finds that Aereo is Engaged in Copyright Infringement
BALTIMORE (February 20, 2014) – Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: SBGI) announced that it has won a preliminary injunction against Aereo, Inc. (“Aereo”) in the U.S. District Court for the District of Utah Central Division. Sinclair’s television stations, KUTV and KMYU, as well as KSTU, Nexstar Broadcasting and FOX Broadcasting Company (“Broadcasters”) filed the injunction to prevent Aereo from infringing on copyrighted material which Aereo was making available to its customers without permission.
In brief, the court concluded that the broadcasters are likely to succeed on the merits of their copyright infringement claims and will be irreparably harmed if a preliminary injunction was not issued. Significantly, the court in a lengthy and well-reasoned decision, not only concluded that the broadcasters are likely to succeed, but in fact went further in explicitly finding that “based on the plain language of the 1976 Copyright Act and the clear intent of Congress…Aereo is engaging in copyright infringement.” The injunction issued by the court prohibits Aereo from engaging in its business not only in the Salt Lake City DMA, but also throughout the entirety of the Tenth Circuit. The Utah court styed any further action on the matter pending the decision of the United States Supreme Court in the ABC v. Aereo case.
“This is the right decision,” commented David Smith, President and Chief Executive Officer of Sinclair. “As the court correctly found, the loop hole Aereo believed it could take advantage of in the law does not in fact exist and, as a result, Aereo is not able to use copyrighted material without permission. The court aptly recognized the intent of Congress in enacting the 1976 Copyright Act that a commercial enterprise should not be allowed to build a business through the exploitation of copyrighted programming without compensating the owners of that programming. We are pleased with this outcome and believe there is no reason the Supreme Court would not come to the same conclusion.”
Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc. is one of the largest and most diversified television station operators in the country. The Company regularly uses its website as a key source of Company information which can be accessed at www.sbgi.net..
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