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Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Washington (AFP) – A startup which captures over-the-air television on the Internet violates copyright laws, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Wednesday, in a major case affecting the tech sector and TV industries.

The court ruled 6-3 that Aereo illegally retransmits broadcast signals, despite the claim that its tiny personalized antennas merely allow customers to watch or record what would be free TV programs.

Justice Stephen Breyer wrote in the majority opinion that Aereo effectively operates like a cable company and must therefore pay for broadcast rights.

The decision is a major victory for the broadcast and cable industries, which claimed that Aereo was threatening their business models.

Breyer said the case “makes clear that Aereo is not simply an equipment provider” but that its “activities are substantially similar to those of the (cable) companies.”

“Aereo sells a service that allows subscribers to watch television programs, many of which are copyrighted, almost as they are being broadcast,” he wrote in the opinion.

The top U.S. court reversed a lower court decision in favor of Aereo, and sent the case back for further proceedings.

At stake are billions of dollars in fees paid by cable and satellite firms, which Aereo circumvents, in what could be the most significant copyright case in decades.

©afp.com / Andrew Burton

Democratic nominee Joe Biden speaking in Manitowoc, WI

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Today in Manitowoc, Wisconsin, Joe Biden spoke about the toll of coronavirus, which has now officially passed 200,000. "What worries me now is we've been living with this pandemic for so long, I worry we're risking becoming numb to the toll that it's taken on us," the Democratic nominee warned. "We can't let that happen."

How did that happen? How did America lose 200,000 people to a horrendous death, with no end in sight? That tragedy can be traced directly to a vacuum of leadership in the White House, as Biden remarked. But he also saw behind that lack of presidential fortitude to its deeper cause: Donald Trump simply never cared how many of us die and he still doesn't. The evidence is in Trump's own behavior at his "superspreader rallies" – where he always protects himself while leaving his own followers to risk illness and worse.

Watch Biden describe the moral emptiness inside this president.