Multiple Lawsuits Filed Surrounding Dish Auto Hop Feature

  • As reported earlier this week by ETCentric, tensions continue to mount in regards to controversy surrounding the Auto Hop feature of Dish Network’s new DVRs.
  • TV Networks are taking legal action against the ad-skipping feature. Fox, CBS and NBC also charge that Dish’s PrimeTime Anytime is an unauthorized video-on-demand service. PrimeTime Anytime automatically records prime time programming from ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox and makes it available for eight days.
  • “Fox’s suit also singles out a third Dish technology for treading on the rights it has granted Amazon and iTunes to sell content online: the Sling Adapter, which allows subscribers to move content intended for their TVs to digital devices,” reports Variety.
  • In a related article, Broadcasting & Cable notes that Dish has filed its own suit against the four major broadcast networks for seeking to “stifle” its Auto Hop feature.
  • Dish explains that Auto Hop does not erase or delete commercials, but rather “allows consumers who are already time-shifting their television viewing to skip commercials more efficiently by automatically fast-forwarding through all the commercials at the touch of a button.”
  • The company believes Auto Hop is “a legitimate, legal DVR feature, and Dish is in full compliance with copyright law and its rebroadcast agreements with the major television networks.”
  • Fox disagrees: “We were given no choice but to file suit against one of our largest distributors, Dish Network, because of their surprising move to market a product with the clear goal of violating copyrights and destroying the fundamental underpinnings of the broadcast television ecosystem. Their wrongheaded decision requires us to take swift action in order to aggressively defend the future of free, over-the-air television.”

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