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Aereo derailed in several states by appeals court ruling

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A ruling yesterday by the U.S. 10th District Court of Appeals blocks Internet TV streaming company Aereo from operating in several Western states.

The decision by District Judge Dale Kimball affects Oklahoma, Kansas, New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, Utah and parts of Montana and Idaho.

The order keeps Aereo from operating in the affected states at least until April, when the U.S. Supreme Court takes up the case. The company has won most of its other court cases, including one in the 2nd District District Court of Appeals, covering Connecticut, Vermont and New York. Aereo currently offers its service in several major metropolitan areas, including New York City, Boston, Atlanta, San Antonino, Miami and Houston.

Aero uses antennas to grab broadcast television signals, which it then offers its subscribers over the Internet for around $8 a month. Subscribers get their local broadcast channels plus the Bloomberg financial channel using Internet connected computers, set-top boxes and mobile devices. Customers can also record and store shows on Aereo's "Cloud DVR" - a virtual video recorder stored on the company's servers rather than on a physical device located in someone's home.

TV stations have argued that the company steals their signals - getting for free what cable and satellite companies must pay for, and selling those signals at a profit.

Aereo CEO and Founder Chet Kanojia said in a statement last month of the U.S. Supreme Court's pending review, “We believe that consumers have a right to use an antenna to access over-the-air television and to make personal recordings of those broadcasts. The broadcasters are asking the Court to deny consumers the ability to use the cloud to access a more modern-day television antenna and DVR. If the broadcasters succeed, the consequences to consumers and the cloud industry are chilling."

Aereo closed on $34 million in additional financing last month from several venture capital firms.

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