Controversial streaming company Aereo suffered its first loss in court today.
A federal judge in Iowa Tuesday dismissed a subpoena by Aereo for documents and testimony about CBS’s minority investment in Syncbak, in addition to how Syncbak’s technology works and any documents that might mention Aereo.
“The Court concludes that information relating to CBS’ investment in Syncbak, and the negotiations leading to that investment, have only marginal relevance to the underlying action, and can be obtained from CBS in any event,” according to court documents. “Information regarding Syncbak’s location-based authentication technology is not relevant to the underlying copyright infringement case pending in New York.
“Aereo’s request for documents which refer in any way to Aereo is simply a fishing expedition.”
Last month, Syncbak lawyers argued that granting the subpoena would “cause significant competitive injury to Syncbak,” according to The Gazette newspaper.
Syncbak founder Jack Perry tweeted the following Tuesday afternoon:
Syncbak is a potential competitor to Aereo, as it also streams live, local television to devices using location-based authentication technology. The chief difference, however, is that Syncbak’s technology is embedded at a television station, only operating with that station’s permission.
Aereo captures broadcasters’ over-the-air signals with remotely-located micro antennas, and then retransmits that signal to customers who pay $8 per month to Aereo.
Throughout the summer, Aereo has prevailed in court on several occasions against ABC, CBS and NBC, after network executives sued the streaming service, arguing it infringes on their programming’s copyrights.
Aereo is now live in New York, Boston and Atlanta, with plans to launch in Chicago, Miami, Houston, Dallas and Utah this month.