Competition for cable-television providers looks safe at least for a time, as the result of two copyright suits link here
. In one, Aereo TV captures from antennas and delivers regular programming via the internet for a monthly fee; this allows the subscriber to record the programs playing them back when he wants. In the other, the satellite Dish provider offered a service, Hopper, which allowed the customer to eliminate ads on home recorded programs. Neither service allows the broadcaster to charge for its programs since the courts ruled that they could not use copyright to enforce payment.
The crucial court decisions found that it was the customer who made the recording so copyright was not violated.
As the Times article points out, unless the two interlopers pay, the broadcasters can and now are likely to retaliate by ceasing to broadcast over the air and providing cable service only.
In judging the result of these cases, once again copyright appears to reduce competition and raise prices to consumers. But its ostensible purpose, to reward the creator of the program to induce new creativity, is largely avoided--if that ever happened, it was long in the past.