Feeds

Judge denies move to ban ad-skipping DVR

Court Dishes it to Murdoch's Fox

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

US satellite broadcaster Dish Networks can continue providing its subscribers with a DVR capable of automatically skipping adverts, a US District Court judge has ruled.

Judge Dolly Gee in the Central District of California court this week refused News International’s Fox Broadcasting subsidiary a preliminary injunction to prevent Dish shipping its Hopper Whole-Home DVR to punters.

Push a button on the set-top box’s remote control and it’ll automatically bypass ads during playback, but only when the content is viewed more than a day after broadcast. The Hopper will record primetime shows and save them for up to eight days.

In a statement, Dish’s legal chief, R Stanton Dodge, said the ruling was a “victory for common sense and customer choice”.

Fox said it was “disappointed” with the ruling, but promised to appeal against it.

In any case, the company’s legal action against Dish continues. Fox maintains that Dish’s ad-skipping system, called AutoHop, not only breaches its content supply contract with Dish but that it also amounts to copyright infringement.

Indeed, Fox said it was pleased that the judge had accepted that allegation, despite denying the preliminary injunction against Dish.

Judge Gee’s ruling has yet to be made public, and we only have the statements from Dish and Fox as pointers to its content.

Fox launched its action against Dish in May 2012. So did ABC, NBC Universal and CBS. All three are no doubt worried about a potential loss of advertising revenue. Why will advertisers be willing to pay so much for primetime ad slots if a large number of viewers can simply bypass them?

For its part, Dish says its system is protected by 1980s judgements that home video cassette recorder makers are not liable when the devices’ users infringe copyright by recording shows off the air. It has also counter-sued the plaintiffs, alleging they conspired against it. ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
'Cowardly, venomous trolls' threatened with TWO-YEAR sentences for menacing posts
UK government: 'Taking a stand against a baying cyber-mob'
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
Zippy one-liners, broken promises: Doctor Who on the Orient Express
Series finally hits stride, but Clara's U-turn is baffling
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.