Justices rule for broadcasters in fight with Aereo

FILE - In this April 26, 2014 file photo, people walk on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington. The Supreme Court said Monday that prayers that open town council meetings do not violate the Constitution even if they routinely stress Christianity.   (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
FILE - In this April 26, 2014 file photo, people walk on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington. The Supreme Court said Monday that prayers that open town council meetings do not violate the Constitution even if they routinely stress Christianity. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court has ruled that a startup Internet company has to pay broadcasters when it takes television programs from the airwaves and allows subscribers to watch them on smartphones and other portable devices.

The justices said Wednesday by a 6-3 vote that Aereo Inc. is violating the broadcasters’ copyrights by taking the signals for free. The ruling preserves the ability of the television networks to collect huge fees from cable and satellite systems that transmit their programming.

Aereo is available in New York, Boston and Atlanta among 11 metropolitan areas and uses thousands of dime-size antennas to capture television signals and transmit them to subscribers who pay as little as $8 a month for the service.

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