Three Networks Sue Dish Over Hopper
As expected, DISH Network was hit with lawsuits by NBC, Fox and CBS on Thursday over its Hopper DVR that allows users to skip and erase commercials automatically. (ABC said that it is monitoring the situation.) In its statement, CBS said, "This service takes existing network content and modifies it in a manner that is unauthorized and illegal. We believe this is a clear violation of copyright law and we intend to stop it." Fox observed that choices for television programming "are possible only because they are supported by the advertising revenues generated from television commercials." NBC referred to DISH's "surprising move to market a product with the clear goal of violating copyrights and destroying the fundamental underpinnings of the broadcast television ecosystem." But David Shull, DISH's senior VP of programming said, "Viewers have been skipping commercials since the advent of the remote control; we are giving them a feature they want and that gives them more control."