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Column: Aereo to launch online broadcast TV in Austin
Last week, streaming TV provider Aereo was banned in six states after a federal court ruled that the service violated broadcasters' copyrights. The Web start-up has spent two years fending off lawsuits from television broadcasters in a legal feud that looks to have wide implications. The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear the case in April, and numerous third parties have thrown their hats into the ring. The National Football League, Time Warner, and the AFL-CIO have all filed amicus briefs on behalf of the broadcasters, while Internet advocacy groups like the Electronic Frontier Foundation have filled out the other side of the courtroom.
Despite this legal drama, however, Aereo isn't holding up its expansion plans. News broke this morning that it would launch services in an additional market in Texas next week: Aereo hits Austin on March 3. It's already operating in San Antonio and Dallas/ Fort Worth.
Call it coincidence but Aereo isn't the only so-called "sharing economy" darling now under siege. Car-on-demand service Uber came under fire last month after one of its drivers hit and killed a child on New Year's Eve; a week later, the company was in the spotlight again when it was discovered that a convicted felon had passed its background check.