July 24th, 2013
When DISH introduced AutoHop, a feature on the Hopper set top receiver that allows customers to automatically skip commercials on prime time network TV shows that are prerecorded with the Prime Time Anytime function, it caused quite a stir. Not only were customers excited and estatic to see a product that they’ve been wishing for since the dawn of DVR, but network television executives were furious that consumers would be able to watch programming unfettered by commercials.
Since its launch networks have been trying to legally crush the Hopper and the AutoHop feature, insisting that it violates contracts and infriges copyright. The networks would like the courts to issue an injuction, a move that would prevent DISH from providing AutoHop to its customers. Judge Sidney Thomas of the Ninth Circuit, who upheld the ruling from last fall denying the injuction, disagreed with the networks’ claims of infringment, and cited the landmark Sony Betamax case from 1984 in which the electronic manufacturer went up again studio giant Universal over its development and distribution of VCRs. Its been an accepted fact that home recordings of television shows and broadcast movies for time shifting – viewing later or more than once – is not a copyright infringement and is protected by fair use.
â€œThis decision is a victory for American consumers, and we are proud to have stood by their side in this important fight over the fundamental rights of consumer choice and control,â€ Dishâ€™s executive vice president and general counsel, R. Stanton Dodge, said in a statement.
Categories: DISH & TV news