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When the case of American Broadcasting Cos. v. Aereo comes before the Supreme Court in April, it will feature two American archetypes in a battle that could upend the television industry.
In one corner will be broadcast networks like ABC, NBC, and CBS, powerful companies that have been fixtures in American living rooms for decades, and the conduit for collective national experiences like presidential elections and the Super Bowl.
In the other corner is Chet Kanojia, a 43-year old immigrant from India, who knew he could build a better mousetrap, or at least a different one. Aereo, Kanojia’s 2-year-old company, has figured out how to grab over-the-air television signals and stream them to subscribers on the Internet.