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Media Companies Cite Startup Aereo as Financial Threat

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Pablo Blazquez, Getty Images

WASHINGTON (AP) — Thirty years ago, big media companies failed to convince the Supreme Court of the threat posed by home video recordings.

Now they’re back — and trying to rein in a different innovation that they say threatens their financial well-being.

The battle has moved out of viewers’ living rooms, where people once marveled at their ability to pop a cassette into a recorder and capture their favorite programs or the sporting event they wouldn’t be home to see.

The new legal fight shifts to the Supreme Court Tuesday with arguments against a startup business using Internet-based technology to give subscribers the ability to watch programs anywhere they can take portable devices.

Aereo takes free television signals from the airwaves and sends them over the Internet to paying subscribers in 11 cities.

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