Aereo isn’t a cable company, U.S. Copyright Office says

July 17, 2014, 3:13 PM UTC
Photograph by Andrew Burton — Getty Images

The U.S. copyright office has told Aereo it’s not a cable company, at least not under the terms of copyright law, according to a letter officials sent the company.

Aereo has been seeking designation as a cable company after losing a Supreme Court case last month that deemed its TV-streaming service illegal. The company wants to obtain the same license available to other cable companies to rebroadcast television programs in exchange for set fees.

Copyright officials aren’t buying the change. The “internet retransmissions of broadcast television fall outside the scope of the Section 111 license,” they said in a letter dated July 16 obtained by CNBC.

Section 111 of the Copyright Act gives the office oversight of the licensing fees paid to cable companies for the retransmission of copyrighted works.

Aereo’s filings would not be rejected, yet. The copyright office said it would accept the company’s application provisionally since its case is still before the courts.

A spokesperson for Aereo declined to comment.