Public service announcement for people who like to spend time thinking about The Future Of TV and also The Future Of The Cloud: The Supreme Court’s Aereo decision will likely come next Monday. Or next Wednesday. Or next Thursday.
Also, maybe the following Monday.
This not-super-helpful-but-better-than-nothing update comes via the Court’s public information office, which has updated its calendar to indicate that it will issue opinions on cases on all four of those days. Prior to this afternoon’s update, the Court had only listed the next two Mondays as possible decision days.
People who are smart about Supreme Court-watching, like my colleague Amy Schatz, had predicted that the court would add more dates to its schedule, for the simple reason that it had a lot of cases that it had yet to rule on, and that the Justices would like to wrap the year up by the end of June.
So there you go: There is a very good chance that the Court is going to make some kind of decision on Aereo, which wants to stream broadcast TV programming on the Web without paying for the programming, very soon.
Along with many other Court-watchers who don’t have someone camped out at the courthouse, we’ll be logging onto the indispensable — but not official — SCOTUSblog next week looking for updates.
So what will the Court say? Remember, Aereo has already been cleared by a series of lower court judgements, which agreed with the startup’s argument that they are essentially an antenna rental service, not a TV distributor that doesn’t pay distribution fees.
When Amy and I watched Aereo make its case to the Court in April, we came away with the sense that the Justices didn’t have a lot of love for Aereo, but were very aware of the argument that a ruling against the startup could endanger other cloud computing services.
A reasonable guess would be that they try to create a ruling that straddles that line somehow. But if we could actually see the future, we wouldn’t be typing in WordPress for a living.*
See you next week!
* WordPress is cool, by the way. You type your words and then you can publish them on the Internet. It works great, and you can use it without making windbaggy pronouncements about your CMS (OMG I just made a correction in real time!). It’s just that if we could see the future, we would use WordPress as a hobby, not a bill-paying mechanism.