Vanderbilt Journal of Entertainment & Technology Law

First Page



The Supreme Court's decision in American Broadcasting Companies, Inc. v. Aereo, Inc. overturned the Second Circuit's rule that separate copies create separate performances without clarifying the scope of a performance. The decision creates significant ambiguity surrounding the public performance right and potentially massive liability for cloud-computing companies. Since cloud computing allows customers to run programs remotely from a company's servers, two independent customers watching different copies of the same movie from the same cloud results in the cloud conducting a public performance. This Note examines this problem, concludes that the current public performance regime has become obsolete, and proposes a new bright-line safe harbor for cloud-computing companies based on the fair use doctrine, dubbed the "Fair Performance Doctrine."