A federal appeals court says a lower court was correct in deciding against Fox's request that Dish be blocked from offering its set-top box features that automatically record all primetime programming on the Big Four broadcast networks and then automatically skip all the commercials on playback.
Fox Fails Again To Stop Dish Ad-Skip Service
In another legal setback for broadcasters, the federal appeals court in San Francisco today affirmed a lower court’s decision to not stop Dish Network from offering its controversial ad-skipping Hopper technology to its satellite TV subscribers.
Fox Broadcasting had sought a preliminary injunction in the district court in Los Angeles, where it is suing Dish for breach of carriage agreements and copyright infringement in connection with the Hopper service. The district court denied the injunction last year.
Built into Dish set-top boxes, Hopper’s Primetime Anytime and AutoHop features allow subscribers to automatically record all primetime programming on the Big Four broadcast networks and then to automatically skip all the commercials on playback.
In its 25-page decision, the appeals court said the district court did not abuse its discretion in holding that “Fox did not demonstrate a likelihood of success on its copyright infringement and breach of contract claims.
“Furthermore, the district court did not err in holding that Fox did not demonstrate a likelihood of irreparable harm from Dish’s creation of the ‘quality assurance’ copies used to perfect the functioning of AutoHop.”
In a statement, Fox said: “We are disappointed in the court’s ruling, even though the bar to secure a preliminary injunction is very high. This is not about consumer choice or advances in technology. It is about a company devising an unlicensed, unauthorized service that clearly infringes our copyrights and violates our contract. We will review all of our options and proceed accordingly.”