Judge Won't Get In The Way Of Dish's Hopper -- For Now
DISH Network has won its first battle against television networks that are attempting to block the further marketing and distribution of its Hopper DVR feature, which allows users to skip commercials automatically on previously recorded shows. U.S. District Court Judge Dolly Gee on Wednesday denied Fox Broadcasting's request for a preliminary injunction. However, the company said that it was gratified by what it maintained was the court's finding that the ad-skipping feature constitutes copyright infringement. DISH is marketing and benefiting from an unauthorized VOD [video on demand] service that illegally copies Fox's valuable programming, the Fox statement said. For the time being, Judge Gee's actual decision remains under seal while the two parties comb it for possible trade secrets, which they may wish to have redacted. DISH, too, said that it was gratified that the court has sided with consumer choice and control, adding that it confirmed the consumer's right to enjoy television as they want, when they want, including the reasonable right to skip commercials, if they so choose.