Supreme Court Grants Cert in Aereo and Argentina Cases - U.S. Second Circuit
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Supreme Court Grants Cert in Aereo and Argentina Cases

It looks like the A's have it. Last Friday, the Supreme Court released its order list and two cases originating in the Second Circuit were granted certiorari, and big players in each case start with -- you guessed it, the letter A.

American Broadcasting Companies, Inc. v. Aereo, Inc.

Aereo is in the business of transmitting broadcast television programming to mobile devices, without a license -- sometimes while the program is airing on television. Understandably, broadcasters disagreed with Aereo's practice, and sued Aereo for copyright infringement in district court in New York, seeking a preliminary injunction, which the court denied.

On appeal to the Second Circuit, in a 2-1 decision, the court relied on its precedent in Cartoon Network LP, LLLP v. CSC Holdings, Inc., which characterized each transmission as private, not public, because of the use of individual antennas to transmit the broadcasts. Finding Aereo's use lawful, a few months later the Second Circuit denied the television broadcasters' petition for rehearing en banc. On Friday, the Supreme Court granted cert to determine whether retransmitting a broadcast to paid subscribers, over the internet, constitutes a public performance. Justice Alito did not take part in the decision.

This case will be one to watch, especially because Cartoon Network was denied cert in 2009. It looks like the Supreme Court is now ready to rule.

Republic of Argentina v. NML Capital

There have been two recent cases heard by the Second Circuit recently -- one much publicized, the other not. The case granted cert is the latter, while Argentina is expected to file a cert petition in the former case as well, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The current dispute arises out of Argentina's massive debt restructuring; creditor NML Capital wants access to bank records in New York, and Argentina argues that the discovery request violated its sovereign immunity under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act ("FSIA"), according to Forbes. The district court approved NML's bank records subpoenas, and the Second Circuit affirmed. Heightening the need for review is a circuit split, with the Fifth, Seventh, and Ninth Circuits coming to the opposite conclusion in FSIA cases.

Both the Aereo and Argentina cases will be argued in the last sitting of this Term in April, according to SCOTUSblog, with judgment expected by the end of June according to The Wall Street Journal.

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