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It’s impossible to know from today’s oral arguments how the Supreme Court case about TV-over-Internet startup Aereo will turn out. But overall, it didn’t look too good for Aereo.
Several justices made clear their concern about issuing a ruling that could hurt other cloud computing companies. Justice Sonia Sotomayor mentioned Dropbox specifically. “What does the Court do to avoid a definition or an acceptance of a definition that might make those people liable?” she asked Paul Clement, the lawyer representing ABC and other TV networks.
Clement explained there’s a “fundamental difference” between Aereo and a simple storage service, similar to the difference “between a car dealer and a valet parking service.” If you show up to the car dealer without a car, you can get one. “If I show up to the valet parking service and I don’t own a car, it’s not going to end well for me.”
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