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CNET Update: Aereo fights to survive, with a cable twist

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CNET Update: Aereo fights to survive, with a cable twist

2:51 /

Streaming-TV service Aereo switches legal tactics after losing in the Supreme Court. Meanwhile, a senator asks the FTC to investigate Facebook over its controversial research.

It's not the end for Aereo just yet. I'm Bridget Carey, and this is your CNET update. [MUSIC] The streaming television service, Aereo, is still fighting to stay alive and this time it has a new legal argument. Since the Supreme Court says it acts like a cable company, it wants to have access to the same content license deals as cable companies. Aereo submitted that application to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. And if you are new to all this drama, well here's a quick explanation. Aereo provided a unique service. You could pay the company about $10 a month to get access to free, over-the-air, local broadcast stations. So instead of you needing to buy a digital antenna and hook it up, Aereo just handled your antenna on its property and it beamed the content to you over the internet. And it used the digital antenna loophole to not pay retransmission fees to the networks. CBS, the parent company of CNET, was among several broadcasters that sued Aereo for not paying those fees. But, two weeks ago it all came to an end when the Supreme Court said that even though Aereo has this unique spin on its streaming, it needed to follow the same rules as a cable company, and pay licensing fees to the networks. But streaming services were never considered cable companies before, so that ruling gives Aereo a new technicality to argue. If the court says Aereo is a cable system, then Aereo could take a new form, and consumers may have another choice for tuning into local TV. Now while Aereo keeps up that fight, Facebook is facing some legal drama of its own. The U.S. Government may weigh in on Facebook's controversial and secretive emotional manipulation research that was conducted on nearly 700,000 users two years ago. Senator Mark Warner of Virginia is asking the Federal Trade Commission to investigate how Facebook handled that experiment, and whether there needs to be rules, or oversight to be put in place for future tests on users. The Electronic Privacy Information Center also filed a formal complaint with the FTC over how Facebook conducted this study. The FTC is the top agency to oversee consumer privacy in the U.S., and it has gone after Facebook before regarding how it handles our data. In addition regulators in the U.K. say they are investigating Facebook if it violated any of their data protection laws with the study. In other Facebook news, you'll see new types of ads on the social network. Within a Facebook advertisement, an app maker can sell in-app goods. So that means, instead of just seeing an ad for a game, you can see an ad that lets you instantly purchase a power up for that game. That's your Tech News update. You can get more details on these stories on cnet.com, and be sure to follow along on Twitter. From our studios in New York, I'm Bridget Carrey. [MUSIC]

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