The four top US television-broadcast corporations – ABC, CBS, NBC, and Fox – have taken their battle against fiesty one-antenna-per-customer cloudy DVR and streaming service Aereo to the US Supreme Court.
The four, Reuters reports, argue that allowing Aereo to continue snatching broadcast TV out of the air, storing it in a customer’s individual DVR, then allowing them to watch it at their leisure is “already transforming the industry and threatening the very fundamentals of broadcast television.”
Just to be clear, from their point of view that’s a bad thing. Your opinion may differ.
The theme I see running through so much of information technology these days is the war between the “moats” that dead tree or broadcast channel or record manufacturing or movie making/distribution permitted owners to construct in order to charge for access to these things, and the “rogue” technologies that are enabling their destruction.
But once it became possible to reduce all these information streams into bits and bytes, which are ultimately fungible across the datasphere, these moats began to disappear, both from production and dissemination of information. That process is ongoing, and the old order is fighting desperately to survive. They are doomed to fail, as new paradigms arise around all forms of digital content, but they won’t go gently into that good technological night.