“Your technological model,” Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. told Aereo’s lawyer, “is based solely on circumventing legal prohibitions that you don’t want to comply with.”
“What disturbs me on the other side,” Justice Stephen G. Breyer said, “is I don’t understand what the decision for you or against you when I write it is going to do to all kinds of other technologies.”- New York Times: Justices Skeptical of Aereo’s Business
a) the broadcasters had intended for the consumer to have for free; and
b) the consumer either cannot access due to physical inability to get the signal; or choose not to access for whatever reason
They are doing this by setting up a dedicated antenna, dvr and wire, for each of their customers, and leasing access to this equipment. That's it. The end result is exactly the same as it would have been had the customer been willing to set up their own antenna and DVR - assuming that they are in an area where their antenna would be able to receive the signal that they are supposed to be able to receive.
What Aereo is doing does not violate any copyright or rebroadcast agreements. It also seems to me that if Supreme court holds for Aereo in this case it could have quite a disruptive effect on the broadcast television industry. But it's the right thing to do, since it is consistent with current laws, and would benefit consumers.
As for the Justices and their comments, in my opinion the tenor of yesterday's discussion had more to do with positioning, and less to do with the actual facts and merits of Aereo's argument. At least, that's what I hope. Otherwise, I have great concerns about the ability of our highest court to understand and correctly evaluate the implications of other more complex technological developments that are surely coming their way.