A ruling from a federal judge in New York slammed the door firmly shut on Aereo's ambitions to stream free-to-air channels over the internet in real time, with (yet another) court ruling.

A little backstory: in June, a Supreme Court ruling slammed the door in Aereo's face, determining that the little startup was basically a cable company, rather than just an innocent little provider of antennae. Now, Aereo's taking that fatal-looking ruling and trying to make lemons, by applying for a license to operate as a cable company, and therefore continue service.

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Unfortunately for Aereo, however, U.S. District Judge Nathan today denied that license, in a 17-page ruling which determined that merely retransmitting airwaves isn't enough to qualify as a cable company. However, there's a glimmer of hope yet: Judge Nathan specifically didn't rule on the issue of Aereo's DVR service, asking for further submissions from broadcasters on the matter.

As Gigaom points out, recent legal rulings — such as those in favour of Dish's Hopper — make the legal ground a little more favourable for Aereo, and as a result there's a chance that the little cord-cutting startup that could might just rise again. [Gigaom]