Dish Wins Yet Again Over Networks Looking To Kill Off New Innovations With Questionable Copyright Claims

from the good-news dept

We’ve noted plenty of times how the legacy entertainment industry loves to attack every innovation it doesn’t like with copyright claims, using them as a sort of whiner’s veto on innovation. Too frequently, this strategy works. Thankfully, with Dish’s AutoHopper, it’s been a rather consistent failure. As you may recall, various TV networks sued Dish for its Autohop feature, which would automatically record all prime time shows to a DVR for people to watch later — and, which then autoskipped the commercials, if you watched any day after the day it was recorded. So far, the lawsuits have not been going well, and that trend has continued with the latest tentative ruling in favor of Dish:

Dish Network Corp.’s AutoHop service, which lets subscribers watch recorded primetime television programs with the advertisements taken out, doesn?t infringe Fox Broadcasting Co.?s copyrights, a federal judge said in a tentative decision.

The judge noted that there may be a separate contractual issue, in that it’s possible that Dish violated a contract with Fox, but that there isn’t a copyright issue here. That’s big, because it’s yet another ruling that effectively ends the nonsensical argument that skipping commercials is somehow copyright infringement. The amount of legal gymnastics the TV networks had to go through to make that argument was fairly incredible, and it’s good to see the courts aren’t buying it.

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Companies: dish, fox

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Comments on “Dish Wins Yet Again Over Networks Looking To Kill Off New Innovations With Questionable Copyright Claims”

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Well, that’s a bit much but if you look at ten years ago and today there’s a notable difference.

10 years ago a 30 minute show had 5 minutes of commercials. That became 7 and now it’s closing in on 10.

This is on cable television, which the whole point of was you paid and thus didn’t see that crap.

They have had their cake and yours and eaten someone else’s because they can.

Anonymous Coward says:

Advertiser Pressure

The real problem, as I se it, is that the advertisers want to get multiple plays for their money. They buy a certain time slot on a program, for X amount of money. If that purchase can be forced into multiple plays of the same commercial, they gain multiples of that “investment” (I wonder what would happen if ALL advertising was stopped?). Thus the pressure on the carriers to kill Autohopper. Like everyone else they want to have their cake and eat it too. Hopefully the courts will continue to quash them.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Advertiser Pressure

That still makes no sense. Dish skipping the ads doesn’t actually mean the ads aren’t played. It’s the same as getting up to use the bathroom while ads play, which network executives insisted was the same thing and amounted to stealing. That is, until that argument got laughed out of everywhere.

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